Random Monday Thoughts

Monday, October 16, 2017

Happy Monday y’all. It’s quite the rainy/cloudy/gloomy day which kind of describes how I feel going back to work after a quiet relaxing weekend.

Everybody else feels this way too, right? It’s harder to get up on Monday mornings. Your brain feels a little foggier than usual. Just getting moving in general is difficult. Just me?! Maybe.

I had planned to talk about Christmas cards today and how I wanted to design my photo card this year. But I still feel like it’s too early to talk about Christmas, even though I’ve been thinking about making Christmas gifts almost non-stop. It is hard for me to get Texan in the Christmas spirit and if I even think about mentioning the idea of Christmas cards before Thanksgiving I will get an evil eye that could kill.

We went into Home Depot this weekend (because our plumbing decided it was going to leak—thank you toilet and kitchen sink!) and they already had Christmas d├ęcor up. The first words out of Texan’s mouth were “Maybe they don’t know there are 2 holidays between now and Christmas”. I get it, Halloween and Thanksgiving are becoming the forgotten holidays after fall arrives. Pumpkin Spice Lattes take up the seasonal hype and then things move straight to Christmas.

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. So I am going to take some time to write down what I’m thankful for. As the years go by, it’s very important to me to take the time to be grateful for the people I have in my life and the experiences I’m getting each year. I will share some of the things I’m grateful for once November arrives. (I don’t want to neglect Halloween’s glory)

Okay, random post over. Sometimes you just need to get those kind of posts out, ya know?! 

P.S. Here was my first attempt at overnight oats... a little soupy for my taste. Now to go doctor up tyre other 2 jars I made lady night... #recipefail 

FBD - Get Seasonal Hot Drink

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

We’re officially into October now. It’s amazing too because during the day it’s still getting pretty hot around here. Although this weekend I took advantage of the cooler mornings and completed one of my Fall bucket drawing (FBD) activities.

 I kind of cheated a little; I didn’t randomly draw a Popsicle stick. I knew I wanted to grab some coffee while running errands this past weekend, but I have to admit it, my pumpkin spice caramel latte hit the spot. 

What's your favorite seasonal Fall drink?

Hawaiian Favorites!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Aloha, y'all!

I didn't want to come back to the East Coast. I could have seriously stayed on Hawaii Time for a very long time. But if you've been to Hawaii, you know it can also be expensive. And so I'm back to reality. However, on this still very warm Fall Monday morning, I want to share some of my favorite experiences with you.

Favorite Activity

One of my dream activities was to hike Diamond Head. My family loves being active and so it was a no-brainer to plan this hike. It was a little difficult going up all the stairs but the view from the top was well worth it!

Favorite Beach

By far my favorite beach was Kailua Beach. The beaches there had soft white sand that was met with the most clear beautiful waters! I would definitely want to stay there next time!

Favorite Non-Tourist Spot

Because we went with a Hawaiian native, we were able to see one spot that I don't think is on many tourist maps. This place was Punchbowl Cemetery or National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. It is basically like the Arlington Cemetery of the Pacific. I didn't think it would be that cool, but I was pleasantly surprised.

View from the top of Punchbowl Cemetery

And since this post is very picture heavy, I won't make it very long, but last but not least...

Favorite Picture I Took

This picture is at Makapu'u Lookout in Waimanalo, Hawaii. It also has a beautiful view of Rabbit Island.

Top 3 Running Playlists to Make Runs Easier

Friday, September 22, 2017

I bet you're wondering what a stoplight has to do with a running playlist... keep reading to find out!

So I’ve been bad. I missed a few trainings due to inclement weather and my trip to Hawaii. But, I’m still chugging along. Some days it’s super difficult for me to lace up my running shoes and get out there. I just don’t feel like running, other days it’s a breeze (well, as much of a breeze as running can be for me). But most of the time I fall somewhere in between those two extremes.
I often think of my running days like a stop light. Red days are the runs I really want to skip, green are the breeze and yellow is just somewhere in the middle. On those red days, I definitely need a little extra boost to get me going. So today I want to share with y’all what I listen to when I run:

1. Green Days Playlist - Country Music

Country is my favorite genre at this moment. So when I’m having one of the “best run of my life” type of running days, I pull up some of my most favorite hits and get going.

2. Yellow Days Playlist - Upbeat Pick Me Up

This is a mix of all different genres. It’s full of “hype” music to get me pumped when my legs might not want to go but my head is in the game.

3. Red Days Playlist - Podcasts/Audiobooks

“What in the heck, I don’t feel like running at all” playlist. Yep, when I feel like I don’t even want to step out my front door, I pull up a podcast or audiobook. It helps me to be able to concentrate on something other than running. It always helps when my brain is occupied.

What do you do to get out there and run when you don’t feel like it?

Fall Bucket Drawing

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Happy Fall... or almost Fall! It's getting time for the weather to start cooling down, the leaves to change colors, tailgating and football and of course pumpkin spice everything!

While Fall is a beautiful time of the year, it can sometimes make me sad because I know winter is right around the corner. I hate the thought of shorter and much colder days! Though this year it's my goal to make as much out of Fall as I can.

The other week I saw this idea that was a cross between a traditional Fall bucket list written down on paper and a Couples Date Night drawing. They put their bucket list on Popsicle sticks and drew something fun every week. So this Fall I will be having my very own Fall Bucket Drawing. I'll draw 1 Popsicle stick per week and document all of the fun Fall activities I do. Come back every Wednesday to check out my fun activity of the previous week!

Right Behind Your Review

Monday, September 18, 2017

I think I found a new favorite author. My coworker rents audiobooks from a local library and brings them in to work to share. Well, her favorite author turns out to be a really great author, and my new favorite! The audiobook she brought in that I fell in love with is Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner. Here is the GoodReads description because I’m kind of horrible at describing what books are about:  

Is he a hero?

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Is he a killer?

Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

All she knows for sure: He’s back.

As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

My Review of Right Behind You:
I was hooked from pretty much the second chapter. I loved following along these two profilers and trying to figure out why Telly was going around killing all of these people! It has so many twists and turns it will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. I would definitely recommend picking this book up! Click here to get this book from Amazon!

2017 Book Tracker: 2 of 6 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link.

8 Tips to Stress Less About Home Chores

Friday, September 15, 2017

Happy Friday y'all! I can't believe it's the middle of September and I'm getting ready to leave for Hawaii... this month has flown by, let's just hope that my vacation doesn't fly by. Though I'm sure it will and then I will be back to the grind of work and cleaning and such. Speaking of cleaning, I'm going to let Nicole take over the blog so I can get back to packing and getting ready.

Eight Tips to Stress Less About Home Chores

It’s like you don’t have enough responsibilities, chores had to come into your life and ruin all the fun. You’re probably asking yourself: “Why isn’t the universe in my favor?” Well, sure, it’s not a fun night out with friends and it can sure not be a dreadful night by yourself folding laundry. Here are eight tips to stress less about chores. Let’s go.

  1. Be mentally prepared. Wake up in the morning and have those chores in mind. Don’t be oblivious to the point where you get bit in the butt. Get done with your morning routine, and make sure your priorities are in check. Don’t be overwhelmed by the laundry or a few dirty dishes. It’s gross, not deadly. When the more important work is done, leave aside a few minutes to vacuum and put the laundry in the washer and wash the dishes.
  2. Don’t let it bundle up. It will definitely stress you out even more and affect your motivation and work flow. Before you know it, your essay is due in 10 minutes, you missed the wedding of your best friend and there is a pigeon in the bag of crisps that you finished 3 days ago, oh God!
  3. Put your headphones on and isolate yourself from the world. Now pick up that broom and start sweeping the floor while bopping to your favorite songs. It actually puts you in a positive mood and sets a nice flow of productivity. Plus you’re doing something you enjoy so Ha! Joke’s on you chore.
  4. Realizing how much this will benefit you in the long run. Just stop looking at the mess and do something about it. Be brave. Get out of this weird comfort zone. Not to state the obvious, but unless you find the place you live in being a chaotic mess aesthetically pleasing then nice try, you can’t fool me. A clean home keeps your head clear.
  5. Ask someone for help. If the struggle is too big just ask your partner or other family members to help you out. Request a friend’s help and later make it up to them. Just don’t fall into a habit where your friend regularly comes over and throws out your trash. They are your friend, not the garbage man. If you have a dog, you could always ask them to walk it, that’s something a lot of people would enjoy. And if you have a cat who you take out on walks and ask your friends to do that instead, they will question the choices you make in life but they will still do it, because they are cool.
  6. Cleaning is a chore that everyone has had to face since they were kids. If you want your home to be nice, welcoming, cozy and warm when you come back from work then keep everything in order. If you do not want to do this for yourself, then do it for others. Show your friends that you have your life put together when it may actually not be. If you start pretending that everything is clean, there is a high chance that you will actually start cleaning up more thoroughly and will pay attention to detail. If you haven’t learned to clean while growing up, it is never to late to start gaining that experience.
  7. You are not alone, keep that in mind. Some of the chores that you find being way too much are other people’s easy days. Everyone has to face a list of mundane tasks every day, and sure, it gets hard every once in a while. But do not let petty things like that get you down. You got this.
  8. Shift the perspective, don’t focus on the negative side of the situation. Don’t look at chores as the annoying guest who has overstayed their welcome, but instead be fond of your home and put effort in taking care of it. Let it breathe, so you can breathe better as well. Piled up unwashed dishes and a messy floor do not put as big of a halt to your day if taken care of at the moment as when left to accumulate more dirt. When you finish your lunch don’t leave your plate to the side with the mindset that it should be washed next time you need it.

Happy Patriots Day.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Proud to be an American. Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Through times of need recently with these hurricanes and times of pride like 4th of July. I'm proud to be an American.

Top 7 Running Gear Must Haves

Friday, September 8, 2017

Happy Friday y’all! I’ve officially made it to the third week of my 8k training. My runs have been a little tough so far. I’ve had the return of the dreaded calf pain as well as the hint of shin splints. Luckily it’s nothing that some KT Tape, Advil and rest hasn’t been able to fix.
As I was putting the KT Tape on this past week, I thought about how I had no clue it existed until last year when I was running with the training team. There are so many cool things I learned about at the training team meetings and long runs. So this week I want to share with you my top 7 running gear must haves.

1.  Running Shoes

This is by far the most important “gear” you need when training for a race/race day. I used to go down to the mall and find some pretty shoes that I thought looked nice and wear them to run. I can’t believe I didn’t have more problems with my legs. Finally I got smart and went to a local running store where they watched me run and fitted me with the perfect shoe for my legs and how I run. BEST. DECISION. EVER. Just do it!

2.  Appropriate Clothing

No matter whether the race is in the dead of winter or the heat of the summer, the temperature is always something you want to think about when picking out your running clothes. In the summer, you want to think about staying cool while running so your core temperature doesn’t rise into the danger zone, but in the winter, you want to consider dressing as if it’s 10 to 25 degrees hotter than the actual temperature outside because your core temperature will raise when you’re running. Thanks to long November runs, I learned very quickly that I didn’t have to dress like the Michelin Man in order to stay warm during runs.

3.  Hands-free belt

I used to carry my iPod, phone, keys and ID with me while I was running. AND I tried to carry all of that in my hands. Talk about having your hands full. Finally I wised up and got a belt that is slim, fits under my shirt without looking like a fanny pack and will hold all of the above mentioned items. There are a few brands out there but I definitely recommend getting something to hold all of your essentials. Here is an example on Amazon that would work great!

4.  Earbuds

Last year when I was training my mom and I ran together, so we were just those annoying people who played our music out loud. Yep, that was us. But this year since we will be running different races and aren’t training together, it is essential that I have good earbuds to listen to my music.

5.  Sunglasses/Hat

You sign up for races months in advance, so it’s hard to know what the weather will be like on race day. And most of the time races run in rain, shine, sleet or snow. Two invaluable running accessory are sunglasses and a running hat.

6.  Water bottle with handle

Like I mentioned in number 3, I used to carry a lot in my hands when I ran. Since I bought my belt, I have been able to carry a water bottle with me, which really helps for long runs when you don’t have water/SAG stations. I finally wised up though and instead of carrying a regular water bottle, I bought a bottle that will fit on my hand so I don’t actually have to hold it while I’m carrying it. Pretty sweet invention if I have to say so myself!

7. Running ID

Because last year's half marathon was shortly after my mom’s birthday, I wanted to get her something running related for her birthday. I decided on a RoadID, a little metal tag that you velcro on your shoe that has important information in case something happens while you’re running. I love the comfort of knowing that if something happened to me while I’m on a run, my emergency information and who to contact is right there on my shoe. You can also get these as a bracelet, anklet or to fit on your sports watch.

And as for a bonus running gear…
Bonus:  KT Tape

While this won’t be a necessity for every run, when you have a sore muscle this will be a God-send. Last year during my long runs, I would get calf pains so bad my foot would eventually go numb. Talk about scary running situations. But once I heard about KT Tape and started using it, I felt like a completely different person. It is so worth the money to get this!

What are some of your running essentials?

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TBB Asks: Back to School Edition

Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy Labor Day y'all! I haven't done a link up in the longest time, and after reading TBB Asks Link up from August I really missed it. So today I'm linking up with The Blended Blog.

1.       Did you love school or hate it?
I was always that weird kid that loved school and honestly I got mad when I had to miss a day.
2.       Start school before or after Labor Day?
We started school after Labor Day.

      Wake up: eager beaver or slow poke?
Eager Beaver for sure. I loved school!

      Favorite breakfast?
Apples. I also sometimes ate Eggo waffles.

      Favorite cereal?
Lucky Charms, always!

      School uniform or no uniform?
No school uniform. Though it would have been a little easier if I didn’t have to think about what to wear every morning.

      New outfit for first day or no?
Yes! I always got at least 2 new outfits for school.

      Walk to school or ride the bus?
Ride the bus, I lived too far away from school to walk.

      Backpack, tote or messenger bag?
A pink backpack.

  Eat school lunch or pack lunch?
My mom always packed my lunch, even in high school. Thanks Mom!

  Remember the little milk cartons? White or chocolate?
The last time I remember having a little milk carton like that was elementary school. But I always got chocolate!

  Paper bag or lunch box?
Lunch box in elementary and middle school. By high school it depended on the day if I took a lunch box or paper bag (we had even and odd days).

  Favorite thing to do at recess?
I loved to walk around the track with my friends. After I fell off the parallel bars and broke my arm in 1st grade, I typically stayed away from playground equipment.

  Favorite back to school supply item?
Colorful notebooks and pens and pencils! My best friend and I always tried to find the perfect writing pencils!

  Chalkboard or dry erase board?
In elementary school we had chalk boards but by high school all the classrooms had dry erase. I liked them so much I got my parents to hang one in my room to help me study.

  Regular pencil or mechanical?
Mechanical, but I had to try out like 3 every year to find the best writing pencil.

  Homework as soon as you got home or after dinner?
I always did my homework as soon as I got home so I could play the rest of the evening.

  Favorite after school snack?
I know I ate something after I got home but I don’t remember what it was. Probably chips or something like that.

  Favorite after school show?
I used to watch this grocery store game show. I loved it for whatever reason.

  Favorite subject in school?
My favorite subjects were always math and science. I always did well in them.

  Least favorite school subject?
English and History.

  Name of your best friend in high school?
Becca was like my sister in high school, we’re still close to this day! (Left is from high school, Right was at her wedding in 2014)

  High school mascot type?
We were the Knights at my high school.

24.   SAT or ACT?
I took both but most kids at my school took the SAT.

25.   Favorite year in school?
Senior year was my favorite but in general I liked every year.

26.   Class Ring or no Class Ring?
Of course!

27.   Attend or not attend high school reunions?
We are having our 10 year class reunion in the Spring and I plan to attend!

Hope y'all have a great Labor Day!

If We Were Having Lattes...

Friday, September 1, 2017

It has been a really long time since I’ve had a latte. Almost a month to be exact so will y’all join me for a latte and some catching up?

It feels like it has been forever since I just caught up with y’all. Though I have gotten better at sticking to a schedule, at least in my own opinion. It has been 2 weeks of me posting on this new schedule and so far I really like it. I’m going to try to keep it up through the end of the year.

So as y’all know, I did my No Spend August this past month and I did fairly well, though I did splurge a little more than I would have liked at the end of the month, but I did keep all of my savings that I had put together, so I still call it a success. Have y’all ever tried one of these things? It can be really hard to say no to a cute pair of shoes when you’re standing there holding them!

I’ve also really gotten the race bug. I signed up for the Halloween 5k, which I posted about on my Instagram. But I also signed up for 4 virtual races and plan to sign up for 2 more local races. One of the virtual races I signed up for had already passed, but I had already run the mileage, so I got this cool Land of the Free Because of the Brave race medal. My other races are:

Local – Petersburg Halloween 5K
Virtual – The Great Pumpkin Chase 5K

Local – Richmond Race 8K
Local – 6th Annual Turkey Trot 5K
Virtual – Gobble Til You Wobble 5K

Local – Tacky Light Run 4 Miler
Virtual – Home for the Holidays 5k

Other than races and my No Spend it has been kinda quiet for me. I’m getting ready for Hawaii in a few weeks. I was trying to lose some weight before my trip, but that didn’t happen. Now Texan and I have planned a trip to Florida for New Years, so my goal is to lose 20 pounds before that trip. Hopefully I can meet that goal!