Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Randomness - Rambling

Friday!  Woohoo!  This week went by wicked fast, and I don't know if that is a good thing or bad thing.  I feel like I need one more working day to feel all caught up.  Hate that.

Anyway, here is some randomness to kick of this Friday of fun!

- This weekend we were supposed to be taking a mini vacation out to Universal Studios to check out Harry Potter land (no we still have not seen it!), however, we had an unexpected passing of a family friend on Wednesday so we had to postpone our plans in lieu of a trip to Clearwater this weekend.  Sad. 

- The last time I was in Connecticut I hung out with two of my colleagues (separately) and both of them smelled ah-mazing.  I asked the first one, "what are you wearing?" and she said it was La Vie est Belle by Lancome, and I made a mental note to buy it, because it was delicious.  The next day I was in the office and my teammate smelled ah-mazing and I asked her what she was wearing and she said La Vie est Belle by Lancome.  How weird is that?  I think it was fate that I was meant to buy that perfume.  So, this week I bought some and now I smell ah-mazing too!  Love it!

- I said last week that I downloaded a bunch of new to me music for my newest running playlists (since I'm into that again) and one of the CDs I downloaded was Tove Lo.  I had her CD on my Spotify, but I really wanted to be able to listen to it not on shuffle (I'm weird) so I bought it.  It is SO GOOD.  Like so good.  I always wondered about the pronunciation of her name, so I Wiki'd her and it's actually pronounced "Too-Vay Loo" - I would have never guessed that.  I always say it phonetically "Tove Low", which then reminds me of Tone Loc of Wild Thing and Funky Cold Medina fame.  (weird, yes)  But I don't think I can just spout off "Too-Vay Loo" and expect anyone to understand what I'm talking about.  Why am I rambling about this?  Anyway, it's a good CD.

- Michele and I have decided to try (TRY) to sign up for the WDW 10K next Tuesday.  Remember, I tried to sign up during pass holder pre-registration and it was sold out in like 2 minutes.  We both have reminders on our calendars set up to go off right at noon when it opens, we'll see if we are successful.  I'm thinking we're not going to be and I'm going to get all mad and ranty again like last week.

Another 10K together, maybe.  Hopefully this one will be warmer!

- Speaking of running, I got my three runs of the week in this week for my Couch to 10K program.  Go me.  Now I need a race to about 13 weeks.  

OK, that's all I have.  Hope your Friday is fab!  

How about you ... Any good weekend plans?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What's Been Up and Awesome 80s Videos

Well hi there!  Sorry for being a ghost all week.  It has been so super busy over here and I just haven’t had time to drop in and say hello.  Eh, it happens.

So, here’s what’s been happening over here.

- Had a great weekend!  On Saturday we met up with some friends and went out to Epcot to the Flower and Garden Festival to see a concert by Jon Secada.  Yep, from the 90s. 

I just love that song.  Ha.  Anyway, we hung out there for a while visiting with our friends, which was awesome because we hadn’t seen them in ages.  We actually planned to meet up again in a couple of weeks to see another Flower and Garden concert – Taylor Dayne.  Yep, from the 80s.  So fun.  And hey, don't laugh, she has a lot of songs that you know you know and can sing along to!

 (OMG, the video is amazing!  The crimped bangs, the 80s outfits, wow.  Just wow!)

- After the concert, we walked over to the Boardwalk for our Disney dining date at a new restaurant called Trattoria al Forno.  That would be Italian food.  And delicious Italian food at that. Or maybe it was just extra delicious because Hubs and I had been on the Challenge for almost a week and hadn’t had anything that delicious in 6 days.  It was our cheat meal of the week and it was so worth it.

- Speaking of the Challenge, we are doing great!  Today is the last day of the 10-day “Cleanse” period and I’m happy to say that we have both been super successful.  We both feel awesome, and we’ve both lost weight, which is a nice plus.  We weren’t really doing it to lose weight, we were really just doing it to eat clean and get back on track with things, but hey, I’ll take it!  Next we embark on the 14-day “Max Phase” which is still the same diet (lean protein, fruits, veggies, complex carbs).  Exciting.

- And I’m happy to say that the exercise is also on track still.  Hallelujah!  I had three great runs last week and a day for Pilates and stretching.  I meant to run on Saturday, but it just didn’t happen.  Ah well.  I ran yesterday and it felt so great.  I actually decided to put some rigor around the walk/runs this week and decided to break out my 10K Runner app and use that.  

It’s basically a Couch to 10K program that maps out your running/walking intervals.  It’s pretty awesome.  So yesterday’s run was 25 minutes – 5 min warmup, 1 min running, 1.5 min walking and then a 5 min cool down.  Easy peasy.  I run again tomorrow and then Saturday - it's a 3 day a week program.  

- This morning I mixed in a little T25.  I did the Rip’t Circuit workout and 10 minutes into the workout, the DVD player stopped!  Huh?  After messing around with it for a few minutes, I ejected the DVD only to find a bit ol scratch on the DVD.  GAH!  I’m hoping that if I play it on my computer or a different DVD player I can salvage it, but we’ll see.  Bummed.  So to finish out my workout I did this arm routine from YouTube. 

And now you’re all caught up.  Not too exciting up in here.  I hope your Wednesday is fantastic!! 

How about you … What was your workout today?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Randomness - All Over the Board

Hi there!  Happy Friday!  This week has been a crazy one, so I am glad that the weekend is upon us!  We have some fun plans for the weekend including some Epcot, some Disney dining and some relaxing.  Can’t wait.

So here’s some randomness… (and I apologize in advance, it’s all over the board today)

- The Challenge is still going strong and going great.  I got on the scale today and did a big ol’ happy dance.  Not eating crap all the time really does work people.  (Case in point, I ate asparagus last night.  Me!  Who am I?)  It’s amazing.  And the exercise too – I feel so great.  I ran three days (Monday-Wednesday) and then did Pilates yesterday.  Today I had an 8am conference call, so that was a perfect excuse for a rest day.  Tomorrow I have a longer run (3 miles) planned.  Woohoo!

 True dat!!

- One of my favorite movies of all time is National Lampoons Vacation and I heard this week that there is another sequel (I guess this would be the fifth one?) coming out this summer.  AAH!  It follows the Griswolds as they take their grandkids to Wally World.  Ed Helms plays Rusty, Christina Applegate (love her) plays his wife and Leslie Mann plays Audrey.  OMG, I cannot wait!!!

- Because I’m back into the running and need some new music to run to, I downloaded a bunch of new music yesterday.  Is anyone else totally digging Nick Jonas  lately?  I was never a fan of the Jonas Brother (I’m too old), but when I heard the song “Jealous” I thought it was Justin Timberlake because it had a cool funky vibe, and I feel like JT is cool and funky.  I was surprised when I heard it was Nick Jonas.  And now he has that new song “Chains” – so good. 

- Speaking of music, Amazon Prime now has a music streaming service like Pandora or Spotify!  I haven’t checked it out yet, but I just downloaded it on my phone last night.  It seems to work just like Spotify where it has playlists and channels and all that.  I’m excited to see what they have out there.  I’m always on the hunt for new music.

- Has anyone watched that show Lip Sync Battle?  Wow, it's so good.  There are legit celebrities on there!  It's not like Dancing With the Stars where you're like "who's that?"  I've seen all the eps so far (I binge watched last weekend) and they are so, so funny.  The battles so far have been:  The Rock vs. Jimmy Fallon, Anne Hathaway vs. Emily Blunt, John Legend vs. Common and Anna Kendrick vs. John Krasinski (this was on last night, haven't watched yet).  It's so fun to see celebs acting totally silly. 

Yes, that's John Legend lip syncing to MC Hammer.  And that's Common in the background channeling Lionel Richie.  For real.

- And on a funny note, has anyone see the American Standard toilet commercial?  That’s a weird question, but Hubs and I saw this commercial one night and we literally could not stop laughing for 10 minutes.  It was so funny.  Or maybe we’re just 12 year old who find potty humor funny.  I dunno.

- And last but not least, I had to share my latest Pic Monkey collage with you.  This is from our trip to Chef Mickey’s last weekend.  I promise I am going to start writing Disney Dining recaps again.  I’m so backlogged! 

Told you it was all over the board!  Hope your Friday is great!!

How about you … Were you a fan of the Vacation movies?  What was your fave? (Vacation, European Vacation, Christmas Vacation or Vegas Vacation)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Another Stitch Fix Review

Hey there!

So a couple of Fridays ago I got my latest box of fun from Stitch Fix.  I just love getting that box at my door - although I know it's always hit or miss.  Still, it's super fun to open it up and see what's in there.

Anywho... this box had mad promise when I opened up the letter from my stylist - two tops, a dress, a pair of cropped pants and a necklace.  Here's how it went down...

I started by trying on this top.  It was sleeveless, it was colorful, it was a little flowy - I knew I was going to like it.

And I did!  Perfect top for the warmer temps in Spring and Fall.  Keep!

And if this top looks familiar, Heather got the same one in her last fix too.  I'm not sure if she kept it though.  

The next top I tried on, again, was totally my style.

You might recognize it from Easter, because I wore it to brunch.  Another hit!  Keep!

I was starting to wonder if this might be the first box where I buy everything.

Then I tried on the dress.  I wasn't crazy about the color - it's hard to see but it's black with turquoise polka dots.  It's a 41Hawthorn dress, which is the brand that I really like from other fixes, and I liked the style and length of the dress, so it had promise.  Then I tried it on.

You can't tell from the picture, but it was a tad tight in the bodice and gapped weirdly in the back.  Bummer.  Return.  I'm still on the hunt for cute dresses!  

The next item was a pair of skinny cropped pants that were so small they barely made it past my calves.  Have I mentioned I hate skinny, straight pants?  I should probably tell my Stitch Fix stylist this.  I didn't take a picture of these - you're welcome.  Return.  Oh, and they were $108!?!  I would never spend over $100 for a pair of cropped pants, that just seems crazy to me.

And the last item was a super cute yellow gold and coral long necklace that I totally would have  kept if I didn't already have one almost identical to it.  Bummer.  Pass.  

So all in all this was a good box, with a lot of potential, but the fit on some of the items just didn't work.  Ah well, you win some, you lose some.  I love the shirts I kept though and I'm sure you'll see them in steady rotation over the hot summer months!  

Yay Stitch Fix!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Feeling Great

Hi there!  It’s Day 3 of our little Challenge over here and I have to say I feel freakin fantastic.  It’s amazing what a little healthy eating and exercise will do for you. 

This also means that I have run 3 days in a row.  What?  Yes!  It’s a record.  I’ve decided that this week I am just going to run (well, walk/run) without any sort of structure or anything like that.  Run when I want to run, for as long as I feel like.  Maybe next week I’ll put a little more rigor around it with intervals and stuff.  Or maybe not. 

I think I’ve decided that next week I want to incorporate T25 into the routine.  So maybe run two or three days and T25 two or three days.  I don’t know.  I don’t want to think too much about it, or schedule too much, because that always backfires on me.  I’m doing good right now, I just need to keep it up.

I’ve noticed a couple of things with my running this week that I probably need to correct if I’m going to keep at this.

- I’m running too fast.  This is actually a comical sentence because we all know I run SO SLOW.  But I’m running too fast for me and I need to fix this because I get tired fast and then I walk. 

- I need to strengthen my lower back.  My lower back has been hurting when I run/walk and I know it’s because I am (for some reason) sticking my butt out as I run.  I need to zip it all up.  How?  Building core strength strengthens the lower back, so Pilates, here I come. 

- I’m dragging my foot.  This is normal for me, but it feels so exaggerated this go round.  Like I feel like I am literally dragging my left leg around with me around the neighborhood.

- I need new shoes.  I’ve had these shoes for about a year.  Granted, I haven’t bene running in them much, but today I ran through a puddle and my sock got wet, which means I have a hole in the toe of my shoe.  Common occurrence (see the last bullet point).

Even with these factors thrown into the mix, I’m still super happy that I am back outside in the mornings running around.  It feel so great!  YAY!

And with my new found excitement about running I went to register for the Disney 10K that is happening during the WDW Marathon weekend in January (yes, January).  Pre-registration for Disney annual passholders went on sale yesterday at noon.  I logged on at 1:30 and … 

SO FREAKING AGGRAVATED.  Can I officially say it?  I am DONE with Disney races.  Registration only aggravates me to the point of insanery.  UGH!  It’s pre-registration!  An hour and a half into pre-registration and it sold out?  Are you kidding?  DONE.

Anyway, that’s my story.  3 days in, I feel great, I’m running, I’m on track.  I just hope it lasts...

How about you … How are you feeling?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hitting Reset

Remember when I said last Friday that on Monday I was going to hit the reset button?  Yep, reset button has been hit.  It is time.

Over the last few weeks (maybe months) I have been off the rails with my eating and exercise.  Exercise has been spotty at best - a T25 workout here, a run there, nothing consistent.  And my eating has been atrocious.  I used to eat atrociously because I was like “well, I work out all the time, so I can” – yeah, no, you can’t.  And lately I haven’t even been working out, so the eating atrociously (word of the day) has totally caught up with me – to the tune of 5 pounds.  Yes, 5 pounds.  I got on the scale this morning and nearly had a heart attack.  5 pounds in literally like 2 weeks.  What is that?

So Hubs and I have vowed to make a change to our diets and to ourselves (we actually decided this a couple of weeks ago, but I was traveling last week, so we decided that today would be our start).  We’re embarking on the Advocare 24-Day Challenge again (we’ve done it a couple of times in the past and loved it) and know that this will help us get back on track – because sometimes you just need structure and someone (or thing) telling you what to eat and what not to eat. 

Tough love.  Yep.

What will we be eating?  Lean proteins, fruits, veggies, complex carbs - basically all the things that a healthy person should eat.  It’s not too restrictive to where we’re starving, but we will be forced to cut out some staples that have been on our menu lately – candy, sweets, soda – all stuff that probably should be cut out anyway.  I was so proud of my grocery cart yesterday – there wasn’t a processed food or soda to be seen.

And exercise is making a comeback too.  I know I say this often, and I have been so wishy washy about it lately, but I have to make it priority again.  Have to.  And I did this morning.  I got up this morning and went for a run.  And it was fabulous!  I forgot how much I love being outside in the morning just before the sun comes up.  The weather is just right, it’s quiet, it smells nice, oh it was just perfect.  I didn’t have any goals for my run this morning, my main goal was to just get up and outside (mission accomplished).  I did my normal 2 mile loop around the neighborhood, running whenever I felt like it, and it was perfect.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll put a little structure around it.  Or maybe not.  As long as I’m out there doing it, I don’t care at this point.

So that’s that.  Embarking on another journey in hopes of being a little a lot more healthy. 

How about you … Do you ever feel like you just need to hit the reset button on your diet and exercise routine?  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Randomness - Back in the Sunshine

Hello! I'm home from Connecticut and its the first time I've seen sunshine since Monday. Why is it always so darn dreary and cold (40s every day this week!) when I'm up there? Kind of over that.

Anywho, it's Friday, which means I have a bunch of randomness to throw at you, so here goes...

- On my way home yesterday I put my iPod on shuffle and NKOTB's “Please Don't Go Girl” played and then directly after, NSync's  “It's Gonna Be Me” played. I was in boyband  heaven.  And then later a Paula Abdul megamix came on.   Yep, I said that. Love my iPod.

- On Monday night I went out with my co-workers for tapas. Man it was good. I'm usually hit or miss when it comes to tapas but everything I had was excellent. As was the sangria. We went to a place called Barcelona in West Hartford. Go there if you happen to be there.

- Remember that afternoon I made my triumphant return to running? Yeah, haven't done that since. But I'm going to make that not be the case starting Monday.

- Monday I'm hitting the reset button and I'm getting my eating and exercise back under control. Because it has been out of control for too long now! And I feel crappy about that.

 I know, I know, I know....

- I finished the book I was reading on my trip. It took me like three months to read “The Borrower” (because I dabbled in it) and it took me like a week to read this book – “The Dog Park” by Laura Caldwell (it was really a dumb book, but apparently a page turner for me). Go figure. Now I'm reading a Stuart Woods "man book.”

OK, I need to go.  I have like 43 hours of work to cram in to the next 7 or so hours that I’m here in the office.  When I travel I get very little done outside of socializing with people I don’t get to see often.  It’s a tough life, I know.  So I should probably skedaddle!  Have a fab Friday and a glorious weekend!

How about you … What are you reading right now?  What are your favorite songs that pop up on your iPod when it’s on shuffle?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Happiness Boosters

Hello from Hartford, where the high temperature today is about 40 degrees colder than it is at home.  Sheesh.  

On my flight up here I read the latest issue of Good Housekeeping. I love GH, it teaches me how to sorta be Susie Homemaker. Sorta.

Anyway, there was an article about Happiness Boosters (you can read the full article here)  that I dog-eared because it had some great tips that made me go, "ooh I need to do that." So I thought  I'd share a few that jumped out at me. Because everyone wants to be happy, right?

(Me, circa 2011, eating a white chocolate fondue-dipped fruit skewer on a cruise.  Happiness, indeed!)

Appreciate the present - If you're in a situation that is trying - traffic, annoying meeting, the airport (heh) - focus on something, anything,  positive about the then and there. 

Bake - Because baked goods always make people happy (but the messy kitchen does not).

Look at old photos - Happy memories = happiness 

Grin - The cheesier, the better.  (see above)

Inhale - Take a deep breath for 4 counts and exhale for 5 counts, 3 times per hour.  I realized that I do not do this enough.

Make your bed - This starts your day with a small accomplishment, which is always happy.  
Pick up the tab for someone - Whether you know them or not.  I've never done this for a stranger, but I've always wanted to, but feared it would be awkward.  Maybe it's easier at a drive through so you don't have to face them.  You just do your good deed and run.  

Find quiet time, even if life is busy - "your brain needs regular breaks to maintain peak function" (that's direct from the article)

Save money - Coins in a piggy bank or direct depositing into a vacation fund makes me happy.  And related....

Go on vacation - Or plan one.  Both are happy!

Listen to music - Amen, yes.  Music helps me make it through a busy workday sane.

It's the little things that you can do that can make life happier. This article reminded me a little bit of the book The Happiness Project. I started this book back in 2013 and have been dabbling in it since then (crazy I know). It's always good to come back to a read a bit at a time. 

Hope your day is happy!! 

How about you ... Do you do any of these happy boosters?  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Fun Photos

Hello!  Happy Monday!

Hopefully you had a great weekend and an extra fun Easter!  Ours was great!  

I'm on my way out the door to catch my flight to cold Connecticut, but I thought I'd stop by and share a few pictures from the weekend. 

Family photos before going to Easter brunch at my in-laws.

Easter egg hunting in her fairy wings!

Another Easter basket of fun.  She made out like a bandit with 3 baskets of eggs and toys. (she's not a candy fan yet)

Hope you're having a super Monday!

How about you ... Did you do anything special for Easter?  How was your weekend?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from my little Easter bunny Jillian!  

(Screen shots from a Jib Jab card I made - hehe)

Have a super special Easter!  Talk to you from cold Connecticut!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Mid-Afternoon Run (!)

I ran today!  (The beauty of working from home a couple days a week – mid-afternoon workouts)

I slept really crappy last night.  Zeus likes to likes to make his presence known a lot during the night by meowing loudly – it’s crazy annoying and always wakes me up.  Anyway, because of my crappy night’s sleep, I didn’t get up early and do my T25 workout as planned, so I decided that I was going to work out in the afternoon.  But when the time came to suit up and jump around, I wasn’t really feeling T25.  But I was feeling a walk/run around the neighborhood.  That never happens, so I had to capitalize on that.

Within like 2 minutes (because I knew if I didn’t do it right then, I’d change my mind) I put on my running gear and went outside.  It was really warm today (85) and overcast, so it was pretty perfect.  I took a 2 mile spin around the neighborhood walking and running whenever I felt.  It was great!  The running was tough though. 

I don’t know if it was because I haven’t run since the 10K (back in Feb) or the fact that I had just eaten lunch, but I was running pretty slow and not for a really long amount of time.  Eh, what can you do?  I’m just pleased that I went out and did it.

I have to say, mid-afternoon workouts make me feel so good.  Totally peps me up when I might otherwise feel a mid-afternoon slump.  I’m liking it.  I might try and do the same thing tomorrow, since I’m working from home again.  We will see! 

How about you … How do you feel about mid-afternoon workouts?  What time of day do you run?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It's April!

It’s APRIL! 

There’s something about April that just makes me want to plant flowers.  I might just have to do that this weekend – we are back to 80 degree temps this weekend, thank goodness.  I’ll have to soak it in real good because I’m back in Connecticut next week for work.  Brr, 40s and 50s there – no bueno. 

Because I feel like I can no longer write a substantial post on a single subject, I thought I would bullet point it out for you today.  You’re welcome.

- I started the day (and month) on the right foot with a workout.  T25 Lower Focus + this Pilates Mat workout from YouTube.   It was good stuff.  I didn’t get a chance to workout yesterday due to an early morning dentist appointment (a wonderful way to start a day), so I had to make it count today.  And I did. 

- Yesterday I had dinner all planned out.  I was going to make BBQ pulled chicken in the crock pot.  Had all my ingredients ready to go and guess who forgot to turn on the crock pot?  Yeah.  Fail.  So we ordered pizza instead.

That's what Hubs said. 

- Has anyone seen the video for Carly Rae Jepsen’s new song, “I Really Like You”?  Tom Hanks is in it.  Like, he doesn't just make a cameo, it’s all about Tom Hanks.  It was weird.  I made me think “why is Oscar winner Tom Hanks in a Carly Rae Jepsen video?”  And then, boom, Justin Bieber was in it, randomly, as a background dancer.  I was like “is that Justin Bieber?”  (BTW, can't stand that kid)  The whole thing was just weird.  But I really like the video and the song.  Or should I say “I really really really really really really liked it.” (ha)  So catchy!

Alright, I have nothing else.  Like literally, I cannot scrounge up anything else to say, so I’m just going to spare you and close this one out.  Have a wonderful Wednesday! 

How about you … Happy it’s April?  Any good April Fool’s Day pranks you have planned?