Friday, March 2, 2012


This blog isn't going very well, is it.  I have been at my new job for over 2 weeks now, and that means I'm working at least 1.5 hours more per day than I was before (my previous job was a little cushy, and flexible, and I didn't work that hard - I'll admit it.  But it was because I didn't have to, not because I was lazy!)  And I haven't worked out once since I started the job.  This is not good.

Anyways.  Here's what I've been up to.  I swear the running updates are going to start up again soon.

A few weeks ago, I attempted an artsy photo of Vegas via intragram:

This month brings lots of exciting things, like:

A skip trip to Lake Tahoe...

St. Patrick's Day celebrations...

And my birthday. Obv the most important.

Happy Friday y'all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Trapped on an airplane.

This job is leaving me crazy busy, especially with Vegas thrown in there.  More on that later.

But while visiting 3 airports on Monday (Las Vegas... San Diego.. O'Hare), I successfully read my first kindle app book on my iPad:

{Via Amazon}

It's not that long, and I was trapped on an airplane for a long time, so I ended up reading the whole thing.  Mindy is funny - I loved her stories about childhood chubbiness and moving to NYC with no job prospects.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Yoga inspiration.

I had a powerful Level 2 yoga class last night, where I held a difficult pose for all of three seconds {which I promptly forgot the name of... it involved binding, and awkward standing}.  For me, that was an accomplishment.

I also got an email this morning from my yoga studio wishing me a happy anniversary.  One year.  I have a goal to start doing yoga on my own more often.  And someday, probably many many days from now, to be able to do poses like these:

{Via lovey on Pinterest}

{Via Lisa on Pinterest}

Monday, February 13, 2012

Never satisfied.

{Via Ripped & Fit on tumblr}

It's going to be an exciting week around these parts.  I'm having a nice dinner-in for Valentine's Day with my love, a day off on Wednesday, starting a new job starts on Thursday, and heading to Vegas on Friday evening.  I still have goals this week:

Do two runs outside, with one long run {if the sidewalk ice melts that is...}
Drink two Nalgene's of water each day
Do a Jillian Michael's dvd
Walk 3 miles every day I don't run.

There are some seriously inspiring athletic photos at this tumblr site - Ripped & Fit.  Ok, there might be a few too many muscle-y ladies pictures {not really my scene since I can't do a single proper push-up} but it's so much more positive than looking at a super skinny model magazine website.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Week 4.

Somehow it has already been a month since I started this blog to share my attempts at working out and fitting back into my pants.  Earlier this week I did a closet purge and found six pairs of dress pants that are too tight.  SIX.  I'm a hoarder when my clothes don't fit, and these pants haven't fit in 5 years.  FIVE YEARS.  I know. 

I'm pretty surpised that I didn't gain weight this week actually, so while this is a lame end to the first month at least it's something. 

Week 4

Change since last week = -0.2 pounds
Total loss = -2.8 pounds

Have a lovely weekend!  I'm celebrating my new job with my girlfriends, celebrating a 30th birthday, and heading to the Chicago Auto Show for the first time.  Stay warm out there <3

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Running tips.

{Via we heart it}

I have a confession: I only officially worked out once this week - a 2.6 mile run on Monday.  Last week I got in two 4.5 mile runs, mostly thanks to good weather.  Good weather to me in the winter = above 35 degrees with no wind.  I'm kind of a wuss, yes.

Part of my problem is I don't have a gym membership at the moment.  I haven't been able to afford to join a nice one but I'm starting a new job next week where I will be able to.  I'm hoping I get a corporate discount of some kind.  Either way, I need motivation.  I just signed up for the Shamrock Shuffle 8k at the end of March, so that helps, but the dark and cold are still making me lazy. 

I found this article from Runner's World from 2007, 101 Kicks in the Butt.  Guess what the #1 tip is?  Create a blog.  Interesting.  ;)  Here are five tips I'm going to start out with:

8. THINK FAST. Run for 20 minutes as slowly as you want, then turn around and run home faster.

10. BLAZE A NEW PATH. GPS systems work great for mapping new routes. Or check out or, which use Google Maps to let you plan and save routes.

17. PLAY IN THE STREET. Skip a dreaded track workout for a fartlek (Swedish for "speed play") session. After 10 minutes of easy jogging, run hard between two telephone poles, then slow down until you pass three. Then see if you can get to the traffic light before it changes, followed by a jog to the next mailbox.

26. HAVE A DAILY GOAL. Set goals not just for big races but also for workouts.

34. FEEL A NEED FOR SPEED. Sometimes you need the thrill of moving your legs as fast as they can go. Try six to eight 200-meter repeats at your mile race pace.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pinterest love.

This has been a frustrating week.  I feel like I've said that before.  Instead of complaining, some Pinterest finds:

I want to email this to my love on V day.

Key lime cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day?

Totally want to be hanging out there right now.

I would sleep outside here if I didn't think I would be eaten by a grizzly... Glacier Lake National Park.

So true.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Motivation Monday.

I love food.  All kinds.  A little too much.  I choose not to control myself around dips, especially those that include guac, olives, cheese, and loads of spicy, salty chips.  And cookies.  Specifically Paula Deen's monster cookies, made by yours truly for friends.  I ate so much yesterday during a Superbowl party that my stomach hurt and my pants were angrily cutting into me from all angles, even this morning. 

I really, really want to change this behavior but am not sure how.  It seems to be ingrained in me to excessively overeat during *celebration* events like this, even though I could have cared less about the game itself and couldn't remember who was playing until the game started.  I know.  I was in it for the friend-time and the commercials.

Because of this, I am declaring this Motivation Monday.  Don't lie, you need it too.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy weekend.

{Sequin striped dress, Forever 21}

{Sequined knit dress, Forever 21}

In two weeks, it's Vegas baaaaaaaaaaby time for me.  Motivation to work out?  We'll see.  I think I'm partial to the second one.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


{Via we heart it, from Groundhog Day}

I may have been a weird kid.  Groundhog Day was one of my brother and I's favorite movies, hands down.  We used to watch it all the time.  We definitely didn't comprehend the darker undertones, I wasn't that kid. 

Anyways.  You probably heard that Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, so 6 more weeks of winter.  This has been the most mild winter so far here in Chicago, so I'll take it!

Today is my third self-report on my diet attempts.  I went to another great Level 2 yoga class last night (there were scary headstands, and many poorly executed planks).  I plan to run after work today to make it my third workout so far this week. 

Week 3
Change since last week = - 1.2 pounds
Total loss = - 2.6 pounds

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lemon risotto.

My bff and I made risotto last night, which mostly consisted of her doing the chopping and stirring and me drinking wine and eating crackers - a perfect night.  Also, not that healthy of a meal considering all the cheese I added.  Whatever.

Lemony Risotto with Asparagus
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter {I used Earth Balance vegan "butter"}
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/3 of a small block of Fontina cheese, shredded
Lemon zest
Pinch of salt or two
Pinch of pepper

1) Start by simmering the broth and water in a pot.  Once simmering, cook the asparagus for 4 minutes.  Fish the asparagus out of your pot and set aside.  Leave the broth + water mixture simmering.

2) Saute the chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet until soft, or about 5 minutes.  Add the rice and stir constantly for 1 minute.  Add the wine and simmer until absorbed, again with lots of stirring.

3) Stir in 1/2 cup of your broth mixture at one, stirring frequently.  Don't add more broth until your previous add has been absorbed.

4) Once all the broth is absorbed into the rice, stir in your asparagus, lemon zest, and cheese.  I went a little crazy adding the lemon zest and cheese here, but it was good.  Add cracked pepper before serving.

*The major modifications I made to this was switching from chicken to vegetable broth {for my vegetarian friend}, using vegan butter, and using Fontina instead of parmesean cheese.  Also, note that this recipe claims it only takes 18 minutes for the broth to be absorbed into the rice.  Lies - it took over an hour.  Have crackers on hand.  Perhaps my oven wasn't on a high enough "simmer"... still delicious.

{Adapted from allrecipes}

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy day.

{Via BrentDPayne on flickr}

I don't think anyone reads this but... I have exciting news to share.  After 14 months and 7 interviews for various jobs, I am accepting an offer this morning and officially putting in my two weeks notice.  !!!!  This is incredibly exciting for me as I have been unhappy in my current job for a long time and have been quite *underemployed* as they say.  This new opportunity is an amazing one and I feel so so grateful to have made it to the last step.

It is such a relief to be moving on.  I am nervous about the reaction of one of my bosses but today will be a good day.  It's also supposed to be 57 degrees, and last night I got in a solid 4.5 mile run without any winter gear since we're having a little heat wave here.  What are you happy about on this Tuesday? {Just in case anyone does read me...}

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekly goals.

{Via we heart it}

Yesterday, I made peanut butter pie. More specifically, Iowa Girl Eats Peanut Butter Pie. Urgh. It's sooooo good and easy. Almost like a peanut butter-y cheesecake. It's really, really sweet though, which means you don't need (or want) more than one piece. Until late last night before bed when I snuck another half piece. Shhh.

What are your goals this week?  The weather is supposed to beautiful (for January in the Midwest at least) this week, with upper 40s today and FIFTY-something degrees tomorrow.  Here's what I want to accomplish by Friday:

Finish two good runs outside, including one long run.
Do one 90 minute yoga class.
Get my scale back on track. 

Here goes.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Week 2.

I saw an article in Chicago Magazine this month about the best health-related apps for your chosen device. I haven't had a chance to explore them yet but check it out.

This week has been a frustrating one. I struggled a lot to stay healthy and kept track of every.single.thing I ate all week. I was *miraculously* able to stay at my calorie intake goal every day, went on several long walks, and a run the other night. But my scale has been acting wacky, fluctuating a lot, and today registered a reading that did not make me happy. I even thought about pretending it didn't happen and skipping sharing this week because I'm convinced the stupid thing is broken but you know what? That's not the point of this. So. Here it is.

Week 2 = +.6 pounds
Total loss = -1.2 pounds

I'm going to focus on the fact that I'm planning to leave work early today and get a run in during daylight because it's supposed to be 40+ degrees. Happy weekend.

{Via we heart it}

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Food blogs.

Y'all, it has been a dreary few days here. I can't stop thinking about vineyards and wine country.  Arghghgh March needs to get here soon!

I have been on a serious search for food & fitness blogs lately. I know, those two might not go that well together. (Except for you Iowa Girl Eats). Maybe the food blog reading should go first, followed by the fitness blogs? Here's my list so far:

The Food Evalanglist; a mix of recipes with g.o.r.g.e.o.u.s. photos and layout. I am drooling over the Purist Pumpkin Pie recipe. I must not have gotten my pumpkin fill this season- it's probably time to fix that asap.

Oh She Glows; chock full of healthy vegan recipes. I'm not vegan, but my dad has been for just over a year (for health reasons) so I like to keep my eyes open for exciting recipes for my parents to try. I really want to make her Basic Oatmeal Squares and Avocado-Lime Black Bean Salad.

Ok, so the new blog list is a bit short. I spent too much time ogling recipes on both of these. My fitness search has been a failure so far too... more updates on that later.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Artsy motivation.

I have been taking small actions over the past few weeks to help me eat healthier and avoid {unreasonable}snacking as I try to get leaner. So far I have been eating a lot more fruit simply because I put a large, pretty bowl on my counter and starting keeping my fruit there instead of hidden in my fridge like usual. It also helps that I have set a rule to only eat fruit as snacks while I'm at work. That and the fact that it's ugly cold outside and the closest option to my office {meaning only one block away} is a 7-11. I digress. How neat are these fruit bowls too? Swoon. I think I would end up eating even more apples just to fill one of these back up:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A warm-up.

I am even more sore from Sunday's yoga festivities than I was yesterday. Second day soreness for the win? It's called delayed onset muscle soreness or muscle fever. {Thanks Wikipedia}. The cause is "eccentric exercise." Although the technical definition is not what I immediately thought of {weird exercise}I think doing a variety of one-legged poses, including one called The Bird, and almost falling on my face qualifies. I guess I should do this Level 2 yoga thing more often.

I came across an article yesterday about a new thing called Snowga being offered at a ski establishment in Connecticut.

{Via we heart it}

Does SNOWGA it sound like a silly dog name to anyone else? Whatever, I think it would be a fun experience. The point is to do a few yoga poses to warm up for skiing, maybe to accomplish something like this:

Unlikely. Meet me on the bunny hill.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Strange muscles in my arms and core are crazy sore this morning from a Level 2 yoga class last night - this teacher legit kicks my butt. Every class I go to of hers is different. Last night there were a lot of one-legged poses (which is not the proper term I know, but I can't really do them anyways, at all) and planks. Ugh plank. My arms are so weak.

Even though my teacher is amazing it's always hard to motivate myself to go. It's a solid 90 minutes of class and it's a 30 minute walk each way from my house, meaning that it takes up my whole evening if I take a class during the week. Whine, whine I know. This is why I'm putting this out there on the interwebz. For motivation.

I also discovered a new product this weekend at TJ's (err, Trader Joe's). Go Bananas - frozen banana slices covered in chocolate (at only 33 calories each!).  It might just be new to me. Yummm.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Quinoa pops.

{Via Time Out Chicago, Don Morris}

I recently discovered this great place Protein Bar downtown. I was unsure at first after hearing that (almost) everything has quinoa in it. Super healthy-pants foods aren't always my thing. But after one bite of their vegan buffalo sauce and omg I'm a convert. Also I pretty much love this drawing I found after googling pictures of the sign since I was too cold / embarassed to linger outside on my lunch break yesterday long enough to snap a fuzzy cell phone picture of the place.

Please disregard the disturbing 14 degrees that appear on my computer screen here. I treated myself to a "barrito" for lunch - that would be a tofu, buffalo sauce burrito. I swear there was a hint of blue cheese in every bite and the pop from each quinoa pearl was very satisfying. Pearl, is that right? It's not the easiest thing to eat at your computer though. Awkward keyboard cleaning was necessary afterwards. I need to experiment with a quinoa recipe at home next!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lean Arms Pyramid.

Here's some motivation for this (chilly) Thursday:

I had planned to get up earlier this morning and do these (with "girl" push-ups, yes).  Guess what?  I sit here drinking coffee, not doing it.  Should I be embarrassed that I don't quite know what dips or tummy tucks are or how to do them?  This calls for some You Tubing. 

This week I saw a number on the scale that I hadn't seen for an entire year, probably because I hadn't stepped on it since Thanksgiving and the holidays are dangerous cookie gorging times for me. That was not a happy moment. I know a lot of people banish the scale, relying on how they feel instead, but I am tall enough that I don't necessarily notice a 5 pound weight gain and things can get away from me quickly if I'm not careful to keep healthy during the week and check-in with myself and the evil scale on occasion.

I also need deadlines. I have a skiing vacation coming up in California the second week of March, and I'd like to be in better shape for in. Thinner on skis = faster down the hill? I'm not athetically inclined, but maybe :)  Weekly weigh-ins it is. Every Thursday.

Week 1 -> -1.8 pounds

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The challenge.

My 29th birthday is coming up in just over two months. It feels weird to approach 30; I don't feel very different than I did 10 years ago, except being stronger in my convictions about what I like and don't like, and more emotionally mature about certain things. Err, sometimes. And happy to be living in a great big city instead of a tiny town.

I have a friend with a list of "30 things to do before 30" and it made me start thinking about doing a challenge to myself for my 29th year. I have always had a complicated relationship with food and exercise; I love to eat (umm, like most people, yes) and trying new restaurants is one of my favorite things. But I allow myself to indulge too much, too often, and that has resulted in unwanted pounds piling on that I'd like to get rid of. This challenge is about more than that though, I want this to be a change - to stop feeling guilty about what I put in my mouth, to stop overeating so much on my "indulgence" days that it takes a full day for me to feel normal again.

I also want to challenge my body. I have been a runner since high school, and a racer since college - lots of 5ks, a few 10ks, and one half-marathon. But I couldn't do two "real" push-ups if you paid me. And I am slow. Maybe jogger is a better word for my skills. I want to be faster and stronger. We'll see how it goes.