Not What I Want But What I Need

I’ve been trying to heal up quickly on this sprained ankle. It’s already taken me out of 2 5Ks I had planned for March and it’s been bumming me out. Big time. While I’m making great progress in my healing, it’s not healed. I can’t run on it. I can walk on it…for short periods. Running won’t be happening for at least another week or two. So…after some advice from a friend and my fella, I’ve decided I have to give up on the half marathon happening in May. While I think my ankle would be up for it, overall I’ll have missed too much training time and won’t be able to get back in shape in time for that. I’m not someone who runs all the time so I can’t just jump back and even give up on a PR. I have to just let me body heal. I’m hoping maybe later this year I can sign up for one but for now I’m choosing to focus on healing physically and healing mentally over having to give up on a goal I had. I hate feeling I can’t do something. So I’m not saying no because I want to, I’m saying no because I need to. I can’t take the risk of re-injuring myself. So for now I heal and focus on finding that inner peace with things again.

Book Review: As Seen on TV

In January I only finished one book: As Seen on TV by Sarah Mlynowski.

asseenontv

 

From the publisher:
“Packing up and leaving behind friends and a promising career in Florida to move in with the boyfriend in NYC doesn’t epitomize the modern-day woman. But for 24-year-old Sunny Langstein, the decision is a no-brainer, especially when she is given the chance to star on Party Girls, a new reality-television show. The only catch: Party Girls have to be single. If anyone finds out about Steve, she’ll be off the show. No problem there – Sunny is good at pretending. But TV stardom is addictive, and before long, Sunny loses track of where she ends and her alter ego, Sunny Lang, the Uber Single Superstar, begins. Torn between celebrity and Steve’s unexpected marriage proposal, Sunny finds her life beginning to unravel in dramatic style.”

This was an interesting read. I have to say, I didn’t love the main character even at the end but the plot kept me interested. I don’t like reality TV but this book pokes fun at it and I think shows how things can unravel if you allow yourself to get wrapped up in material things. I gave the book 2 out of 5 stars. I didn’t like it but I didn’t really dislike it either. It was just “ok.” I would say read it if you need something silly and fluffy. It’d probably be a great beach/pool read.

Smooth(ie) Tuesday

Well, it’s another icy morning here in Maryland but since I’m working at home today, I took advantage of my blender and whipped up a smoothie. I didn’t have much to use in one so I threw some things together but it works. Perhaps it’s a little sweet for a breakfast smoothie but I’ll be keeping this one in mind for a sweet treat in the future.

Caramel Apple Cherry Protein Smoothie

1 Grove Square Caramel Apple Cider K-cup
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 c dark frozen sweet cherries
1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Blend it all up!

Mine made just over 1 serving of my smoothie cup so you could easily make 2 smoothies out of this I think.

Nutrition Details:
Calories – 260
Carbs – 37
Fat – 0g
Protein – 27
Sodium – 235
Sugar – 27

Book Reviews from October-December 2013

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been doing a bit of reading so I thought I’d catch up on some of the books I’ve read. I’ve read quite a few so let’s just cover what I read in October through December 2013.

Garden of Stones by Sophie Littlefield

garden

 

This was an interesting book to read. It focused on Japanese women living in California who dealt with the fallout of the Japanese population after Pearl Harbor. It also contained a murder mystery element. Overall, it was engaging and interesting. While it was fictional, it definitely seemed to have elements of truth of the history at that time. If you’re looking for something a little different, I would recommend you read this book…but it is a little heavier at times.

Shadows of Lancaster County  by Mindy Starns Clark

shadows

This was a murder mystery as well. It’s based in Amish country but not all the characters are Amish. But this book completely wrapped me up and had me thinking about how difficult modern world problems have to be so difficult for a population that doesn’t embrace the modern world. This is a very different book than I tend to read but was lent to me by a friend. I’m so glad it was recommended to me because I loved it! If you’ve ever been to Amish country or know anything about their culture, this book is something you should read.

Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews

christmas

 

I love Mary Kay Andrews. Her books are always a lot of pages but they read like summer reads to me. I eat them up. This book didn’t disappoint and actually included characters from another favorite book, Savannah Breeze. I didn’t want to put this book down and wanted to read and read and read. If you’ve ever read Mary Kay Andrews, go pick up this book. If you haven’t read Mary Kay Andrews, go read some of her books, just read Savannah Breeze before reading this one. 

Monkey Business by Sarah Mlynowski

monkey

It’s been quite some time since I’ve read any books by Mlynowski but from what I remember this book fits her style. This was an interesting book in terms of the characters and what they were each going through. It follows a group of students in business school and how they’re really a band of misfits, even the “normal” one. I wanted to read this book in one day but at the same time I wanted to pace myself so it wasn’t over so quickly. While it was different, it kept me entertained in a very good way. 

 

Finally Friday

It’s finally Friday. It’s seemed like a very long week, yet a short one all at the same time. I was stuck inside most of Sunday and didn’t emerge into the outside world again until Thursday morning. All due to a sprained ankle. I was getting a little stir crazy, even though I knew it was cold outside but we’ve had some sunny skies, despite a little snow. So yesterday, K drove me to work before he went to work, which meant I was in the office by 6:15a. Yeah. I didn’t leave work until about 4:30 since I had a meeting I really wanted to do in person. Fortunately, there was iced Dunkin coffee for me and a dinner date at Chick-fil-A. But that meant we weren’t home until almost 6:30p. Long day for someone who hasn’t been out of the house in days. I “quickly” showered and then propped myself up on the couch with the fella to watch Capitals hockey. I made it through the first 2 periods before I just had to lie down. My foot/ankle was throbbing and I just couldn’t get the right angle to prop it up. So I went to lie down and read Jen Lancaster’s Twisted Sisters. (It’s only $2.99 on Kindle for the next week or so. Go buy it!)

I love Jen Lancaster’s books and Twisted Sisters is the only one I haven’t read. I didn’t realize it at the time of purchase but a character in this book connects to one in Here I Go Again. So…I will say, if you didn’t care for that book, you probably won’t like Twisted Sisters. But this is a good fluffy read. I’ve been reading a lot of books lately so I know I’m due for a review of them. I don’t think I’ve reviewed anything I’ve read since September! So I’ll get on that. To preview what I’ve read since the new year:

As Seen on TV by Sarah Mlyknowski
Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman
The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot
Divergent by Veronica Roth

So I’ve been delving into different genres but they’ve all been good. I should finish Twisted Sisters this weekend and I’ll likely start up Insurgent this weekend as someone is loaning the hard copy to me and well, it’s not like I can go do a whole lot…like run the 5K I had planned for tomorrow. Bummer. But I’m going to cheer on friends who are doing it in the cold without me tomorrow…and by cheer on I mean from my couch with my foot propped up. I’m not feeling crazy enough to go in person. 😉

I hope you all have happy Fridays and happy weekends!

Injured

Well, folks, it was a gorgeous weekend here in Maryland. We’re talking sunny skies and 60 degree weather. I went for a run Sunday morning. Except I slipped on ice…twice…and I think on the second fall I sprained my ankle. The fella took me to Urgent Care once he got off work yesterday. I did indeed badly sprain my ankle. They don’t see anything broken in my X-rays so they wrapped it up and sent me home with crutches. I’m working at home today so I can ice and elevate it as I need to. I can’t tell you how much this upset me yesterday. I cried all morning because 1. it hurts like mad and 2. I’m really concerned about what this means for my half marathon training. I already have to skip a 5K I was really looking forward to this Saturday and depending on how I heal, I may have to miss another 5K in two weeks. I don’t know if I’ll be up to running within 2 weeks. Walking, sure, but I don’t know about running. It’s already a challenge for me because my right knee is a pain. Well, now, my right ankle is IN pain. Totally bummed out and totally bored with sitting on my tailbone icing this thing. Having to ask for help to get up out of low chairs or help getting moving if I’ve sat for a long time is horrible. I’m very fortunate I’m dating the sweetest man on the planet but I’m sure many of you are like me and hate being or feeling like you’re being a burden. So…here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.

3 Months

Y’all. It’s 3 months until my half marathon. On one hand that seems so far away still but on the other it seems way too close. Last week I had a stomach bug and there were snow days and I just slacked off the running. I got back to it yesterday and took advantage of the fact that my training plan has 2 weeks that are practically identical. So I ran 5 miles yesterday (indoors) and I got up and ran 3 miles this morning (indoors). I’m hoping to be outdoors by week’s end as tomorrow it should be warming up to near 50 and staying that way for the rest of the week. But the good news is I figured out a rhythm with the treadmill that doesn’t make me want to stab myself in the eye…at least on shorter distances.

I had a lovely weekend full of love. Friday night, the fella brought home take-out from our favorite local Italian place and we had a romantic dinner in before heading out to a comedy club to see Ralphie May. It was a great night and these happened:

flowers

They’re perfect, right? Yeah, I think so. 🙂

Saturday was a day spent entirely in the house. We didn’t go outside for anything. We watched movies, napped, watched some tv, and just had time together. Sunday evening we went out to dinner and hit up the grocery store because we’re super exciting like that. But we ended the night on the couch with the newest episode of Walking Dead. Do any of you watch that? You should. So intense and such a well done show.

How was your weekend?

 

Push Through

Yesterday after our ice storm it was supposed to warm up to 50 degrees. We didn’t quite make it up that high, but I still managed to get in a run outdoors after work. I had 3 miles to do and my fella had told me when I got back, there would be dinner waiting on me. OK! It was a slow 3 miles but I did it. Not only did I do it, but I pushed myself to actually run the last .9 miles without a break. They say the first mile is the hardest and they aren’t joking! I finally got my body on board that this was happening whether it liked it or not and I ran. I kept seeing that I was close to another round milestone.

“C’mon, you’ve run to 1.20, you can run to 1.25.”
“C’mon, there’s a hill, you can run DOWN hill.”
“C’mon, run to 1.75 and you can walk .1 mile.”

push2

So I ran much of mile 2 and almost all of mile 3. Some of what helped me push even though I knew I was slow? I was one of the few people outside actually exercising. There were a few little old ladies walking their dogs, there were some people walking home from work, but I was out there for fitness. So yeah, I was slow, but I was out there working on it!

And, as promised, when I got home K had a small appetizer just for me! Multigrain Tostitos with goat cheese and guac. (Just a few.) Then it was time for dinner. He made me a PSPSP–Pesto Shrimp Provolone Spinach Pizza. Does this guy know me or what? Those are like all my favorite things and it was a relatively healthy meal. I think he loves me and I think I’ll keep him around.

pspsp

 

Roasted Southwest Veggies

It’s finally Friday! I don’t know about y’all but this has been a LONG week. I started my half marathon training and I’ve done 9 miles thus far. On Sunday I’ll run 4…ok, I’ll run/walk 4. So let’s keep our fingers crossed that the weather stays warm(er) and dry so I can run outside. Running in the gym is for the birds. But enough about that, let’s get to what you should make this weekend or next week for a fast after work dinner.

Roasted Southwest Veggies (with Butternut Squash)

5 cups fresh butternut squash, cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp Cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine butternut squash, peppers, and onions in a large bowl. Add olive oil and toss/stir to coat veggies. Mix seasonings in a small bowl and add to the veggie mixture. Toss/stir to coat evenly. Pour veggies in one even layer onto a greased baking sheet. Bake 30-35 minutes until squash is fork tender.

Now…the good part? You can eat those just as they are. Add a little guacamole and sour cream for extra deliciousness. But I took the veggies one step further. I put a couple of spoonfuls and some shredded cheese onto a tortilla, rolled them into burritos and baked them in the oven for 5 minutes so the cheese would melt. I’ll be honest, at first bite, I didn’t love it but the more I ate, the more I liked it. Even my meat loving fella liked them. While they may not be a weekly appearance in our kitchen, I do think they’ll show up from time to time when we’re wanting something a little different and really easy.

Enjoy the weekend!

Pin-Up Workout

This is a workout that you’ll want to pin-up and use again and again. It alternates core exercises with weight exercises. I use a Bosu trainer, kettlebells, and some lighter dumbbells for the bicep curls. For the Bosu plank and balancing bicep curls I flip the Bosu over so the round part is on the floor.

If you don’t have access to a Bosu or kettlebells, you can certainly modify this workout with dumbbells and try balancing on one leg for the bicep curls.

BosuKB