Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Five

Happy Halloween y’all! What do you enjoy most about Halloween? For me it is the seasonal candy that  100% makes the season.  My favorite ice cream shop in Wilmington Boombalities makes my favorite ice cream of the year called Monster Mash which combines all the seasonal candies into one heavenly flavor. Yum. Please go enjoy some for me since I will not be able to get any this year. Halloween also marks Joe’s upcoming birthday November 1st. I always felt bad because Halloween overshadowed his birthday when it came to celebrations.  Made sure it would not happen this year with an early birthday celebration last weekend. Since it’s Friday that means it is time for another round of my favorite things.

{One} Watching.  Melissa & Joey on ABC Family. Just hear me out on this one. If you ever watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch or Clarissa Explains It All I promise you will enjoy this show. I watch it on the treadmill and always get a few goods laugh’s from Melissa’s character. The Halloween special this year featured a guest appearance from Zelda (Sabrina’s Aunt) trying to convince Melissa she used to be a teenage witch. Just love it when shows do nods to your childhood favorite shows.

 {Two} Drinking. Moscato Wine. I am a huge white wine drinker. I tend to go for the sweeter wines like Riesling. I ordered a glass of moscato last weekend and forgot how delicious it is. I believe it is considered a dessert wine and is meant to be paired with dessert or fruit. However, I like to enjoy mine before dinner. Don’t judge okay?

 {Three} Wishlist Worthy. This sweater from JCrew will be mine as soon as a good sale comes along. Navy, Stripes and elbow patches? Yes please!

{Four} Currently Loving. She Reads Truth is an amazing website featuring numerous devotionals paired with beautiful printables. I started their new series on hospitality this week and highly recommend it.

{Five} Coming Up. This weekend is the Junior League of Raleigh’s Shopping Spree. I volunteered last night at the convention center and it was a blast! My mom is coming into town Saturday and we are going to the sale and spending some girl time shopping. Then we will spend the rest of the weekend celebrating Joe’s 30th

Linking up with Lauren ElizabethClareKarliAmanda & April .

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Weighing In Wednesday

Weighing in Wednesday has been on the back of my mind for a while. I haven't posted much this past month because I wanted to rework the direction it was headed. This past month I have tried to push the focus off the number on the scale and toward being comfortable with my body. I have been fighting with the scale for years now with little success. If it's not working then why continue it! Something had to change. I still am focusing on eating healthy and working out but with a different end goal in mind. Wednesday's will be focused on tips and tricks I have learned along the way about weight-loss. I also am looking forward to sharing more recipes and workouts. Today I want to share a few tips that help with getting the weight off and keeping it off.

1.    Baby steps: If you look at the big picture of trying to change everything at once it can be overwhelming and lead to frustration.  In order to be successful in making a lifestyle change and not a quick fix diet is to start small. Make one positive shift every week, instead of overwhelming yourself with a bunch of changes at once. Example: This week I’m focused on nutrition next week I will add in more intense workouts.
2.    Find what fuels you: Tap into your motivation and use it. I try to focus on goals that go beyond that number on the scale, and set specific and personal mini-goals like training for a race (or slipping into that pair of jeans that are a bit too snug) helps tremendously with motivation. Seriously thinking and reminding yourself about long-term goals will keep you committed to a lifestyle change.
3.    Visualize your goal: When you have struggled with weight loss for a long time it is sometimes hard to visualize a reasonable expectation for a healthier life. What has helped is to create a healthy vision board on Pinterest to be a tangible reminder. My Pinterest page is focused on inspirational quotes and images not necessarily pictures but motivational workouts and things that will help me you start to recognize when I am starting to reach my goal.
4.    Consistency is key: Plan out your workouts like they are an appointment. This will help get in the habit of going to the gym every morning or after work. Remember, this isn't a quick fix — this is a lifestyle change. After a few weeks, these things will feel like second nature.
5.    Find healthy foods you enjoy: Many don’t believe it but healthy food can also be delicious! It may take a little getting used to but enjoying clean foods will help cut cravings and you will eventually want to fuel yourself with clean, natural foods.
6.    Don't focus on deprivation: I love this quote from celebrity trainer Heidi Powell, about when you deprive yourself of food, "all you want is what you can't have!"  When I focus on not being able to have cake at a birthday party- all I want is a huge corner slice. If I instead focus on how energized I feel with a healthier diet I tend to not focus on the cake and enjoy the party.
7.    Have compassion: Sometimes, we indulge a bit much and slipups happen. Instead of punishing yourself with countless hours of cardio or restriction after eating a food that's "off-limits” it is better to forgive yourself and make it a learning experience. Then just move on. When you allow yourself kindness, it is easier to bounce back and stay on track. Just skip the downward spiral of a whole day (or week) filled with junk food, shall we?
8.    Do exercise you enjoy: Heading to the gym shouldn't feel like torture. Try a new group fitness class or a different cardio machine. Or skip the gym all together and get outside join a rec league or go for a run. An activity that flies by and feels like fun will ensure you get those workouts in.
9.    Plan ahead: Enjoying a sweet treat or special meal out are key parts of sustainable weight-loss. When you know about an upcoming girls night out there is no need to freak out just keep your diet extra clean leading up to the special indulgence. Knowing you have planned ahead will make the whole experience more rewarding.

I'd love to hear your tips on maintaining your goal weight or weight-loss!

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The Hump Day Blog Hop

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Rewind: Mountains Weekend

To celebrate Joe's upcoming 30th birthday Joe, myself and a his close group of friends from college spent the weekend in the mountains at a beautiful rental cabin. The cabin in a small NC town about an hour away from Asheville. We spent the weekend enjoying the beautiful scenery, celebrating, hiking, and a bit of resting too.

On Friday, Joe, my friend Christina and I drove up to visit Mt. Mitchell State Park. After a stomach turning drive up highway 80 we made it to the Blue Ridge Parkway  which lead us to the summit of Mt. Mitchell. Fun fact: Mt. Mitchell is the tallest mountain this side of the Mississippi. We enjoyed lunch at the restaurant located in the state park. The menu featured a variety of lunch fare from hot dogs to BBQ or soup and cornbread. After smelling the cornbread on the way in I knew I had to try a slice. I loved their homemade chili and cornbread.

 We all rounded off our filling lunches with homemade blackberry pie. The three of us all loved it and there is no denying you can't go wrong with homemade pie!

Afterwards we met our friends Adam, Whitney and Joe at the cabin. We enjoyed drinks while relaxing and watching the boys play ping-pong. Ping-pong was a reoccurring theme throughout this weekend as the guys held tournaments every night in the game room.

An EXTRA LARGE bottle of wine was consumed :)

Our friends Amy and Ray drove in around dinner time and  we grilled steaks and corn. Dessert was a homemade trifle for Joe's birthday complete with sparkler candles. The candles ended up being a bit tricky to blow out which made for several laughs.

Saturday we spent the morning relaxing and taking in the scenery. Around lunch time we decided to explore the local hiking trails in the neighborhood with hopes of seeing a waterfall that was mentioned when we found the cabin. When a 1 mile walk turned into 3 miles with no waterfall in site we came to the conclusion that we must be lost. Humorously, this is par for the course with Joe and his friends as they tend to get turned around pretty easily while hiking. This time they brought the girls along to this mix which we were not amused after an hour of walking around the trails in circles. Thankfully we made it back to the cabin and were able to spend the afternoon hanging out and of course playing more ping-pong.

Saturday night the group headed to Morganton for dinner at Wisteria Southern Gastropub. The restaurant featured a menu full of farm to table products complete with house made flavored vodkas and cocktails. The guys were brave and ordered fried pig ear wraps for an appetizer. Everyone at the table agreed it tasted very similar to fatback (thick cut bacon) but not something we would order individually. For dinner, I had fried green tomatoes and arugula and apple salad. The hit of the night was their chicken and waffles. I had a bite of Joe's entree and was surprised at the heartiness of the waffle and how delicious the fried chicken was with the sweet topping.

We wrapped up the evening with drinks by the fire. I love fire pits and Joe and I both agree that when we get a house we will make sure to install a fire pit.

It is always hard to pack up and head home from on Sunday. It helped knowing that my parents were coming up to bring Charlie back home. Even though we moved away last year I am so thankful to still have them close by. It helps that they love this sweet face as much as we do!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I know this weekend was one for the books for us and I hope to make it a tradition for years to come!

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Fall Friday Five

I hope y’all have had a wonderful week. I am mixing up today’s Friday five to feature all things fall! We are headed to the mountains today with friends to celebrate Joe’s 30th birthday! I am in the mood for all things fall and for me that means boiled peanuts, hot apple cider and roasting s’mores.  This week has been an eventful one for me so I am thrilled to be taking a three day weekend and spend some time relaxing with friends.

{One} Eating. What birthday celebration would be complete without some cake? Joe requested his favorite dish for the trip red velvet trifle. I have made this trifle countless times for many birthdays and potlucks over the years.  I have decided to change it up this year and make a red velvet Oreo trifle! I can’t wait to dig into this.

 {Two} Drinking. Apple Cider of course!! Mixing it up a bit and making this Apple Cider and Cranberry Sangria.

 {Three} Wearing.  Give me an oversized sweater and a pair of leggings all weekend please. I love this outfit and the scallop details on the purse are darling!

{Four} Baking. The perfect fall breakfast in my mind is anything warm and filling that can be enjoyed with a delicious cup of coffee. These Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls by the Pioneer Woman are the perfect mountain breakfast before a long walk on the trails.

{Five} Looking Forward To. Changing leaves, mountain views and exploring trails. I can’t wait to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway and hike the trails near the cabin.

It's time to get on the road! I hope y'all have a fabulous Friday!

Linking up with Lauren ElizabethClareKarliAmanda & April .

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Listening and Resting

Today my leg/ankle is still not feeling 100%. The pain has improved drastically from yesterday. I think the combination of rest and pain killers really helped minimize my discomfort today. It is still a no-go on cardio exercise since I can’t put much weight on my leg. I am taking it day by day because I want to heal fully in hopes of a full recovery by November. I have already registered and paid for the City of Oaks half-marathon in November that I was really looking forward too!

Being sidelined with an injury is no fun. Unfortunately, it happens to me often due to a weak ankle that I sprained years ago. My exercise focus right now is recovery and strength training. I love running and getting a good cardio workout so having to rest and elevate makes me a bit irritable.

 One thing I know I can control is my diet. Hoping to take this rest time to focus on my relationship with food and fueling by body with nutritious foods. Looking back at my YEARS of dieting I have learned that I tend to eat my emotions. Happy, sad, stressed or even bored have some emotional tie in with food. My relationship with food is something that I have been striving to work on these past few months. I don't want it to rule over me and fill me with regret and sadness. I want to be comfortable with enjoying what my body craves not what I feel like I have to eat.  Exercise has been my saving grace for not gaining 50+ pounds due to my emotional eating. With exercise taken away, it is the perfect time to focus on nutrition and not make it a diet but a lifestyle change.

I love that this little blog is a space of my own and can change as my goals refocus. Look forward to more healthy recipes and nutrition tips coming your way as I learn along my journey.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Weekend Rewind

Joe and I kicked off the weekend with a perfectly scary night out with friends at Darkside Haunted Estates. Having never been to a haunted farm before I had no idea what to expect but was impressed (terrified) by the theatrics and props used for the maze of haunted houses. The estates had countless dark and winding houses to explore each with different terrifying themes. Our group's favorite was a creepy Christmas themed house and a pitch black maze complete with terrifying music and black lights. Surprisingly I slept soundly that night with zero nightmares. 

Saturday we headed with friends to the NC State Fair. I love that we are so close to so many fun things to do since we moved to Cary. My favorite part of the fair is always grabbing breakfast at one of the local church buildings and visiting the beautiful gardens. A close second is enjoying my yearly cup of NC State Ice Cream. 

The boys enjoying Apple Slushes 

Campfire Ice Cream from NC State Creamery 

I put all that good carb loading to use Sunday morning at the Bull City Race Fest. I ran the half-marathon with a group of friends from church. I planned on running this race for fun and that is just what I did. The hills in Durham are no joke and after almost every turn there was another hill to conquer!!

Unfortunately, the hills got the best of me and I ended up straining my Achilles tendon and it started to get inflamed around mile 8. I was running with a friend which really helped me power through the last few miles. We ran up until mile 10 and then alternating walking hills and running down hills and flat stretches. We crossed the finish lie at 2:40 and I made my way straight to the recovery tent. Thanks to a great therapist my leg was rolled and stretched out to help with recovery. 

Afterwards, we checked out the food truck rally that was waiting at the finish line! My leg was still bothering me a lot so after browsing we skipped the food trucks and opted for a sit down dinner. 

My restaurant of choice was Tribecca Tavern which is quickly becoming our favorite Cary restaurant. After resting and recovering from the morning race, we spent the afternoon enjoying delicious seasonal drinks and baked brie poofs while watching some football. 

Talk about a weekend! I am still not 100% today from the race yesterday but am hopefully on the way to recovery. We have a short week ahead because Friday we are heading to the mountains to celebrate Joe's birthday! To wrap everything up here is a sneak peek at this week's meal plans.

Weeknight Menu

Tuesday: Dinner w/ Parents

Friday: Grilling at the Cabin & S'mores 

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I'll be back tomorrow with an fitness update and my plans for the next few months. 

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Five

It’s already Friday again! This week just got away from me and I truly need to get better about planning posts ahead of time. There is no excuses it is just that life happens.  I have been enjoying this taper week and getting in lots of long walks with Charlie. The parade of homes really sparked our interest in looking into more neighbor hoods nearby so after work we have been exploring new to us areas as a nightly ritual. Since it’s Friday, here are a few things I am loving this week. 

{One} Watching. Sometimes it is hard to find a new tv show that both Joe and I enjoy watching together. We have had good success with huge hit favorites like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Lost and Homeland. But often when  we find a new fall series it gets canceled after the first few seasons.  Prime examples are Alcatraz and Last Resort. We often  joke that we should not get attached to a tv show because it will be canceled. I am hoping that Gotham is not one of those shows. I am not a huge comic fan but am really enjoying watching it with Joe and letting him fill me I on the development of certain characters. There is a good mix of action and drama each week which for me makes it a great couple’s show.

{Two} Drinking. It has officially turned fall here in NC and the cooler weather is here to stay. I get cold very easily so I always like to have a hot beverage on hand. My favorite is Trader Joe’s Vanilla and Cinnamon Black tea. It’s aroma is rich full of cinnamon notes. Black tea has the highest caffeine content compared to green or herbal tea so I enjoy it as an afternoon pick-me-up.

{Three} Wishlist Worthy.  I have been lusting after a scuba hoodie from Luluemon for years (think 5+). This is currently my incentive for myself to keep my diet on track. I am hoping I can eventually use some of my earnings from Pact to help purchase it! I earn about $1.50 a week so I have a ways to go! 

{Four} Currently Loving. Halloween costumes are popping up everywhere right now. Although we will not be dressing up this year I would die to see Charlie in this adorable costume!
Puppy Ewok

{Five} Coming Up. This weekend is packed to the brim with activities and fun times! I am excited to go to the State Fair Saturday and will be taking the chance to do a bit of carb loading for my race Sunday!! My go to every year at the fair is NC State university ice cream. I know this weekend will be a bit cold but am still looking forward to savoring every creamy bite! 

Linking up with Lauren ElizabethClareKarliAmanda & April .

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