Month: April 2013

An Improvement + Food

Good morning, friends!

It is supposed to be an absolutely beautiful day in Southeast Ohio. I’m glad the weather is looking up for this last week before break because I am used to basking in Athens’ sunlight until mid-June. We used to be on the quarters system but changed to semesters this year. Now we are done before the weather really has a chance to change for the better. Looks like we lucked out this week! 🙂


I’m planning on going on a run this morning. I want to soak up some rays because now that I have a fake tan I don’t want it to fade! I will put on sunscreen, I promise. I might buy some Jergens sunless lotion or something this week to keep it up safely, too.


Okay, so, I want to update you on my fitness-slump progress. I think that making a concrete plan for myself last week a step in the right direction. This week I am pumped to keep the workouts going. That’s a pretty big improvement to what I was saying last week!

I didn’t stick to the plan exactly as I wrote it last week, and I took two rest days instead of one. But you know what? I still felt pretty darn good. You can check out what I actually did here.

Yesterday, I completed a modified version of this workout by Bess. She makes really fatiguing routines – it’s so great! I had to cut down on some sets because my arms were spaghetti after so long. Maybe I’ll do the full routine sometime in the future? 😉

To warm up for the strength portion, I created a short but effective climbing elliptical workout. I made sure to keep my abs taut and arms pumping to get the full effect. After those workouts together, I was a sweaty beast.


Now, I have to take a moment to complain. The August Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon I signed up for in Pittsburgh has been indefinitely (“til 2014”) been postponed. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. According to a news article, the city cited concerns over the summer heat, which, in my opinion, is complete BS. I think I may write a letter to the city planning committee to voice my opinion on the matter because not only were thousands of runners already signed up, but, if the city really is making the mistake of doubting the heat index and there is no other reason, they are losing out on a huge moneymaker. It’s kind of a lose-lose.

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And now, I have to share a few recent eats with you as well. After I got home on Friday, my mom and I went shoe shopping for the wedding. We stopped at Panera for dinner. I am a HUGE fan of Panera and most dishes I’ve tried there, especially their salads. This time I ordered a new menu item, the Spinach Power Salad (but without bacon). Warning: You have to really love onions to get this meal. Unfortunately, they didn’t knock this one completely out of the park.


The Vidalia onion vinaigrette was sweet and tangy at the same time and the highlight of the salad. However, I was disappointed to find onion crisps and cold, cooked mushrooms atop the greens. If the onions and mushrooms had both been sautéed and served warm, the salad would have been a winner.

Sunday night, I whipped up a double batch of Lindsay’s Sweet Potato Banana Bites with two really ripe bananas I found in my cupboard. I didn’t have a mini muffin tin, so I made normal sized ones (it made 8). I ate one as a pre-workout snack yesterday. It was so perfect fo this sweet potato lovin’ girl – just the right amount of natural sweetness, even with chocolate chips. I do agree with her that the taste would not be for everyone, though.


And that’s that. Sorry for the long update. Hope your day is bright!

Questions of the Day: 

Have you ever used self-tanner before? What kind?

What is your favorite dish at Panera?


My First “Real” Wedding

Hello and happy Monday!

I had such a fun weekend with my family celebrating my cousin Jeff’s wedding. This was my first “real” wedding, in that I was older than 10 years old and got to dress up and experience it like an adult.



Just keepin’ it classy with some asparagus.

The ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception were held at Green Gables Restaurant in Jennerstown, PA. The venue was gorgeous, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather for the outdoor ceremony.


I did take pictures of the food… except I forgot to snap one of my main course. I ordered salmon, and the piece I got was huge! It was really delicious, but to be honest, the dancing and family time stole the show, so that’s what you’ll see below. Here is a huge picture dump of the evening with a few explanations mixed in.


My grandparents, still rockin’ it! Love my gram’s dress.


Mother and step-father of the groom (my aunt and uncle).


My cousin Jeff, just as his wife was walking down the aisle. He cried! It was so sweet.

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Sam, one of the most beautiful brides I’ve seen! She was glowing.

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My lovely cousin Jessi. She is so pretty, I can’t handle it!

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Dancing the night away (with my gram! She has the moves, let me tell you).  

Have a great day!

Question of the Day:

What did you do this weekend? I wanna know!

Friday Favorites


I’m in an exuberant mood today because after I finish one exam and go to another class, I get to go home for the weekend to celebrate my cousin’s wedding! Wahoooo! My bags are packed, and I will be accompanied by a yummy smoothie and a deluge of healthy travel snacks (almonds and cherry tomatoes, I’m looking at you).

In case you were wondering, the spray tan turned out well. I was really nervous because everyone was like “OMG U R SO DARK” follow by “but it looks good!” I wasn’t really sure what to believe, but after I looked in the mirror for a while, I decided I was happy with the results. It was even better after I showered off this morning. Phew!

And now, here’s a very brief version of my Friday Favorites because I am knee deep in ethical journalism issues for this exam!


Favorite Post:  Jesica of rUnladylike posted about the benefits of a great running playlist. My playlist was crucial to my finishing strong in the half-marathon, and I totally agree with what she said. I love picking songs with strength mantras and placing them at what I know will be my hardest miles.



Favorite Recipe: Maybe I haven’t said this before, but I LOVE chia seeds. I think they’re little nuggets of healthy splendor. I’ve tried chia pudding before, and I wasn’t too crazy about it because the flavor was off. However, I think that this recipe for Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding from Linz at Itz Linz could make me a believer (I tweeted the link earlier this week, too).


Favorite Workout: This Full Body Tabata workout from Tina at Best Body Fitness rocked my socks on Tuesday. It was super effective and made time fly by. I think I will definitely be joining the next round of BBBC! I am convinced.


Hope your Friday is awesome! Catch ya later.

Question of the Day:

Do you like/have you tried chia pudding?