Marvelous in My Monday: Que Será, Será

I am having an unabashedly awesome week.  (I’m sort of lumping in the past few days, as well as anticipation for the weekend, into it as well; not just saying that because Monday’s barely begun.) 😉  And this has been something of a rarity lately, so I really think we should commemorate it.

*cue streamers and confetti and strobe lights and music–anyone wanna make me a cake?*

I’m also not thinking in a very coherent-post-conducive manner right now (because I’ve been working a heckuva lot on Thaw as of late!  this is very good but it also means my writing brain is pretty fried!), so I think I’m going to break out the LISTS in order to detail why I’m having such an unabashedly awesome week.  (Is this bragging?  Is this shoving my happiness in your face when probably a lot of you are suffering the usual case of the Mondays and I’m sorry?  I hope not…this is just…chronicling.  A celebration.  It’s MARVELOUS.)

#1.  I have really awesome friends.

yayI’m not sure exactly why I’m just realizing this…I’ve known it for a while, certainly, but I guess I’ve never really fully internalized it.  Being around other girls my age, though, and hearing about spats and drama and huge fallings-out with their “friends” is definitely making me more appreciative.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been in a fight with a friend.  They’re all just too awesome.  And we all respect and love each other and are all really smart and have the same weird sense of humor and it’s just amazing.  I wasn’t aware of how rare this was until lately, and I am SO THANKFUL.  I LOVE YOU ALL, GUISE.

romione

One of my friends and I have recently started a weekly running thing (well–I say weekly–meaning it’s happened once and there are plans to do it again the following week) where we talk and we sort of run but there’s no pressure to really be speedy but we cover a lot of distance and last week we did 6 miles, which I think was actually the longest run of my life.  Granted, we definitely didn’t run for the entirety of it, but it was still very impressive to my mind.  And the talking and the repetitive exercise has been really therapeutic and happy-inducing and gah I love her.

#2.  Lately I have been conversing with an extremely smart dude with an overall pleasing aesthetic.  *giggles shyly and brings shirt collar up to hide face*

aww david tennant gif

#3.  I AM GOING TO SEE SARAH KAY PERFORM IN SEATTLE ON MARCH 1ST. (!!!)  If you don’t know–I’ll skip the shaming that you really deserve–Sarah Kay, as mentioned in this post, is my favorite spoken word poet ever and she’s pretty young and infinitely inspiring and her poem B was really one of the things that helped pull me out of my 7th-grade depression and disordered eating.  It is so beautiful and she is so beautiful and everything is sugar and rainbows and happiness because SHE’S PERFORMING IN SEATTLE AND I’LL ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO SEE HER IN REAL LIFE AND GET AN ADVANCED COPY OF HER BOOK AND THE ANGELS WILL DESCEND FROM THE HEAVENS AND CROON SWEETLY WHILE STRUMMING HARPS OF COTTON CANDY.

Her website is called Que Será, Será, which is both a pun on her name (Kay, Sarah, sera) and is a saying that, translated, roughly means “what will be, will be”.  (If you were alive in the 60s you probably know this, because Wikipedia informs me that it was also a pretty popular song back then, and one I think I’ve heard at least once on some Netflix show or other.)  I can’t express how much I love this.

(I knew there was a very good reason for not asking anyone to the Sadie Hawkin’s dance that night!  Good job, TGITO.  Such a prescient decision on your part.)

What’s your MARVELOUS today?

Advertisements

Run Like a Dog 2013

DSCN4121

DSCN4131

DSCN4136

DSCN4137

DSCN4139

DSCN4144

DSCN4145

stitch before

stitch afterYay for picture-heavy posts!  (Though I imagine that this, too, is okay with you, because my posts are usually novels I write in attempts to procrastinate working on my actual novels.)  I don’t have much to say on the subject of this run, except that it wasn’t nearly as tiring as I thought it was going to be, except for a brief but overwhelming wave of nausea after it was over, most likely because I sprinted too hard to the finish line–but endurance is building up! 😀  We did end up taking two dogs–Daddio ran with Peeve and I, Stitch.  He was a good, faithful running partner, only stopping to pee on three garbage bins and attempting to yank my arm out of its socket only twice while stopping to greet a dog behind him.  I actually think having Stitch with me made me faster, because I had something to think about/fuss over/be concerned about other than the fact that I was running a 5k.  And while I didn’t try for time, I actually managed a perfect 10-minute mile–on the dot, 31:00!–and that’s pretty okay for me! 🙂  I’m not sore at all today, one day later, and I feel accomplished and awesome and like I want to go for another run.  Tomorrow.

It was also my first time running with Bic Bands!

DSCN4159(Tip:  when taking an awkward but necessary-for-your-blog selfie, be sure to include emphatic jazz hands.  It makes things easier on everyone.)

DSCN4160I ran in the above band, the thick Orange Crush (have not tried the bottom one yet, thin Hip to Be Square).  And all I can say is…wow.  Just like every other fitness blogger on the internet, I’m going to virtually yak your ear off about these, so be prepared.  I didn’t have to reach up and adjust, check that it was still there, remove, or otherwise fiddle ONCE–and I may or may not be a pathological fiddler.  And–andandandandandandand!–it was in THE SAME PLACE when I finished the run as when I started.  Being someone with an abnormally large cranium and uncontrollable hair (MIGHT I REMIND YOU OF THE OLD HERMIONE-INSPIRED LOOK:

HAIR! 004), these were a godsend.  And Bic Bands donates profits to charity!  HOW COOLIO.  They’re pricey, yeah, but I have a feeling these are the only workout headbands I’ll need for a few years now, and the company is totally SPUNKALICIOUS.  (Read my last post if you’re lost here.) 😉  So…yeah.  Consider Bic-Bands heartily TGITO-endorsed.  I bought them myself, wasn’t provided with review products or anything, so all opinions are 100% my own!

Ten-minute mile.  Fun dog socializing.  Free clementines and granola bars afterward, and a good time was had by all.

run like a dog

 

 

 

Friday Faves #2

Featuring 5k fears and finds, beautiful blog buttons, bolstered body image, link love, and writing-related reads.  Not in this order.

Greetings my dear friends.  I would like to apologize for not posting since last Sunday, but I know you’re cool with it ‘cuz you’re cool like that.  It wasn’t that I had writer’s block, really–it was more that I did have a lot of ideas but, incidentally, there was a lot of stuff I wanted to do a heck of a lot more than sit down to pound out a blog post.  Projects, people…mysterious projects. 😉  Ah, well, you’ll find out about them soon enough.  They’re good ones. 🙂

Anyway, this, at least, means that come September 4th when I forgo my internet-inhabiting ways for the academic lifestyle once again, I will not completely abandon you for a week!  I now have many “backup” post topics saved up to prevent total radio silence here.  So, everyone has won here.  Let us move on.

1.  Beautiful Blog Buttons.  Have y’all noticed my new lovely ORANGE social media buttons in my sidebar?  They were only 99 cents 5 dollars in the Etsy store, made by IGottaCreate, who also offers FREE buttons, though not all in orange. 🙂  Cheap Etsy downloads are quickly becoming a kind of vortex for me…  At any rate, I’ve finally found out how to make social media icon bars, as per my question in my Blogoversary post!  I used this tutorial, designed for WordPress.COM blogs, to integrate the buttons into a widget.  It’s way easier than I was mentally building it up to be.

2.  Bolstered Body Image.  Maybe it’s come across around these parts (because I’ve written about it at length) that, lately, I haven’t been exactly happy with my appearance.  I’ll skip the melodrama.  Then I found some clothes that actually fit me nicely, wrote a post in an attempt to shape myself up, read some even more awesome posts, stripped down to my skivvies in front of a mirror and recited some self-esteem mantras (a la Kiss My Broccoli), started running longer and harder (why is running like the magic self-esteem-boosting drug?  though I’m not complaining), and bought some pretty eyeshadow and liner for my peepers.  I’ve always really loved my eyes–probably my favorite superficial feature, and I’m glad I’ve figured out how to play them up a little bit more now.  No shame in flaunting what ya got! 😉

IMG_20130823_141747

I also got a haircut.  Not that this picture makes it very easy to tell.  Also, I’ve coined a term–that above hairstyle?  That’s not “unruly” or “out-of-control”, folks, that’s SPUNKALICIOUS, you hear me?  SPUNKALICIOUS.  Please let’s integrate this into our daily conversations.  As in, “My bangs are being especially SPUNKALICIOUS today”, or “My day was sure hard; I guess life’s just testing me to see how SPUNKALICIOUS I can be about it!”  Yes, SPUNKALICIOUS must ALWAYS be ALL CAPITALS.  Preferably accompanied by a Z-formation fingersnap, if you can manage it.

3.  5k fears and finds.  My second 5k ever is tomorrow!  AHHH/yay!/I’m going to be so dead by the end of this!  Funny thing: since I’ve done this before (once), my brain has seemingly gone into “pro mode” about the whole thing.  As in, why should I worry about preparations?  Stretching beforehand, hydrating sufficiently?  Why even bother, especially when you’re not shooting for a PR?

I really hope I can snap out of this before tomorrow morning; at the very least, I have no doubt it will dissolve into a cloud of fear and crippling self-doubt at the starting line.  But this too must be worked through!

If your arrogant brain hasn’t gone into everything-under-control mode about your next 5k, here are some great reads from around the internet to help you prepare yourself for the race:

4.  Writing-related reads.

  • 10 Things Teens Should Know About Writing.  He comes right out and says teen writing sucks.  I can’t figure out whether I’m awestruck and thankful that someone prevented me from getting my hopes up too high, or feeling crushed…
  • Maureen Johnson’s Brain Monkeys.  Her answer to that eternally-posed question, “Where do you get your ideas?”  And it’s Maureen Johnson.  You’re guaranteed an out-loud laugh.

Also, this and this.

DSCN4119The former, I was lucky enough to snag for free at the magical old library, and the latter I pre-ordered.  (It’s been out for about a month now.)  The former…well, it’s Stephen King!  So witty, hilarious, and wonderfully profane; and since it was an older copy, I didn’t feel guilty about underlining quotes and dogearing pages.  For reference, you know.  😉  It’s just general, down-to-earth writing advice that doesn’t even bother to be tailored to specific ages.  And the latter, obviously, is geared more toward young writers, and it remains optimistic about a writer’s chances while still cautioning you to get a “real job”.  😀

The parents are also very supportive of all my writerly endeavors, but then again, they are parents.  That is Job of Parent.  So…does my writing suck?  Do I have no chance of success?  Or am I an amazing undiscovered gem (Mother Dearest’s viewpoint on the matter)? 😉  I’m getting whiplash darting back and forth…I guess the only thing I can do, in either case, is to keep pounding on.  Work hard, put in effort, always be striving to improve.  Maybe even query anyway, despite my age deficiency.  The worst that can happen is “No”.

No further alliteration for today…Happy Friday! 🙂

***

What’s your favorite thing about your body?  Please divulge all in the comments!  Today, take a moment to appreciate at least one thing that is beautiful about yourself.  Don’t fall prey to the “but that’s so vain” thing.  Strut yo stuff, gurl.  And tell me what it is that makes you beautiful!  (Well, one item from the list, anyway.)

Further Fur

I all but promised you 2 days ago that the alliteration was going to die with that last post.  Maybe that might have been a mite misleading.  I’m on a roll, or rather, a reckless rampage.

peeve can't stop won't stop

This post isn’t really an update or record or news flash or anything, but it does introduce a furry member of my family and it does include a lot of cute goggie pictures and hopefully it will make you smile, because Peeve is really good at that, and you never know when someone’s in need of a laugh.  So, read on, my good peruser-of-le-blog.  Read and be entertained.

Peeve made her Instagram debut last week, and she quickly became quite popular.  I’m not sure why I’ve never shared pictures of her before, because she’s comedic gold!  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen her….special face, but now for the cordial introductions:

DSCN3953Her name is Peeve, because she’s our “pet” and our family is one that gets a roaring laugh out of puns.  We always joke that she’s our “biggest pet peeve”, and she certainly seems to think so, though she’s pint-sized.

20130814_180713 e cropped outShe’s a docile creature, not overly concerned with the fast pace of society and its regulations.  She likes to take it easy.  Naptime occurs at least six times a day, more if someone else is willing to engage in the pastime with her.

IMG_20130812_120237 IMG_20130812_202804 - CopyThese are STUNNING shots of her, all gussied up in her best.  On a normal day, expect to find Peeve like this:

IMG_20130812_202524

Yes, Peeve is rather special-looking.  She also possesses startling chameleon talents, managing to resemble Yoda, an Ewok, and a monk seal all in one fell swoop.  Judge her by her size, do you?

yoda collage 1

Striking, the resemblance is.  Mmmm.

ms collage 3

I…I can’t even…ms collage 2 ms collage 1There…there are just no words.

Fun Fact:  Boston Terriers were originally bred as “war dogs”!

peeve grr

Since I know you’re all quaking in your boots with trepidation right now, I’ll stop with the Peeve pictures.  I’m glad I finally got around to introducing you to her though! 🙂  Now for a quick poll:  Which dog (if any) should accompany me to the Run Like a Dog 5k?  I initially thought I was going dogless, definitely (drat, here comes the alliteration again), but now I’m decidedly less decisive…

The contenders are: Stitch…(he might be more fun to document; he’s a bit of a camera ham, really)

013

and Fraggle.  Yes, like the Rock.

035

(Heckyes we have a buttload of dogs.)  Both medium/large breed, both in good shape and quite amiable, both would probably find the run fun.  Thoughts?  Have you ever run with a canine companion before?  I haven’t, so it’s probably not the best idea to break into it at a race, but…dogs…  I might simply pawn one off on Daddio.  That way they would get to enjoy the race without baffling me and what little consistency there is with my running style.

(In case you were wondering, Zixie gets an honorable mention.  Her hips are too bad to run that far, though.  Alas.  Otherwise she’d be my go-to girl.)

DSCN0129

Should I go for it?  The dark side clouds everything.  Impossible to see, the future is.

Haha, anyway–happy final fragments of Sunday.  On a semi-related note: how the heck are we over halfway through August already??!!  I literally thought it had to be the August 3rd yesterday… #timewarp

I hope you got a laugh out of our funny-faced furry friend.

Friday Faves

Featuring: food finds, fun, fur, accomplishments and attempted alliteration.

1.  Accomplishments: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, meet 3-dimensional puzzles.

DSCN3906 DSCN3911 DSCN3918 DSCN3920 DSCN3922 DSCN3924Up in our Wyoming cabin, the bro, the friend, and I happened across a vintage Peppercricket Farms 247-piece, 3D PUZZLE.  We slaved away hours over this thing (at least, I did–the bro and friend dropped out 70% of the way through [weaklings]) and I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been kinda waiting for an excuse to show you my handiwork since then. 😀  Or that this puzzle was my sole driving force for the three-day span it occupied; I ate, breathed, and slept Peppercricket Farms.  I even missed dinner one night???!!  What could have possibly possessed my soul so fiercely as to cause such an unthinkable outcome??

Other news in the accomplishments department:  I’m running my second 5k evah next Saturday, the 25th!  (You can read the recap of my first 5k here.)  I’m simultaneously pumped and terrified–since the great fooeing of the knees, running has been rather hard and painful for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful that I’m at least able to run with knee braces at this point, but I’m also out of shape and in pain and such and consequently I’m not nearly as speedy as I would like.  For this reason, I’m not hoping to PR on my 5k, but I am hoping to finish strong–that is, resist the urge to walk!  Running is an extreme mental hurdle for me, and I only hope I’ll have the strength to jump it.

run like a dog

The race is South Bay Veterinary Hospital’s Run Like a Dog 5k–I’m stoked because of the proceeds going to the humane society. 🙂  Also, it’s pet-friendly, so hopefully I’ll get lots of chances to ogle and photograph all the cute widdle goggies! 😀  Daddio shall run too.  Fun!

2.  Fur: The many joys of peanut butter.  A few days ago, I introduced dog Zixie to the many joys of the spread and put the ends of a jar to good use.  We both had great fun.DSCN4029

DSCN4023 DSCN4026

DSCN4056

Yes, my dog looks like a fox.  And yes, after this session, the remaining peanut butter levels testified to exactly how far her tongue could get into that jar:

DSCN4064

🙂

3.  Fun: The world’s smallest potato.

DSCN4094I don’t know why, but I crack up every time I look at this guy.  Obviously, Mother Dearest and I are such talented gardeners!

Once upon a time I had a pretty orange manicure, but now I’ve traded it in in favor of a more natural earth-inspired nail look.

DSCN4083You know those lucky ducks whose jobs are to come up with witty nail polish colors for the bigshot companies?  Well, I call this look “Girl Who Had Way Too Much Fun Digging For Potatoes Gloveless”.  Catchy, right??  O-P-I hiring office, here I come.

DSCN4096

Fortunately, Mother Dearest and I have also harvested some (marginally) larger potatoes, and other glorious summer veggies (pole beans, snap peas, radishes, etc.)–I’ve got my eye on a satay from Vegetarian Times for these babies.

Fun, part B:  Scavenger Hunt w/ Little BroAlphabetical, photographic scavenger hunt, no less (“Take a picture of something starting with A, B, C, and so on, no skipping letters and no going inside.  First person to finish gets a 10-point bonus; duplicate picture points go in favor of the 2nd finisher.”).  Yeah, ‘at’s right, folks, we’re bringin’ sexy good, wholesome fun back!

DSCN4012Here’s my Wasp Nest for “W”.  Do those white caps mean there’s still eggs inside the nest??  Ook.

4.  Food Finds:  Ketchup Curry, and Rockin’ Rice.  A few weeks ago I made PBF’s Crock Pot Curried Lentils (minus chicken thighs), which in my opinion was amazing (or maybe I was just really hungry) the first day and then faded into meh for the remaining servings.  Not to fear!  This mehness resulted in the discovery that I l-o-o-o-v-e the rather offbeat combination of curry + ketchup.  Like, a lot.  Like, enough to maybe make my own recipe out of it.  Nummy stuff, you guys.

DSCN3551

(^^Such a beautiful photo.  Ain’tcha proud?)

Food Finds, part B:  PlanetRice Lightly Milled Sprouted Brown Rice.

Lightly Milled Sprouted Brown Rice 6 x 20 oz. Stand Up Pouch

(Photo from PlanetRice’s Website, Link Above)

Are we thankful we discovered this!  We picked it up on a whim while at Albertson’s in Sheridan, Wyoming, and it turned out to be the best rice Mother Dearest or I have ever tasted!  Not to mention the fact that it’s like a healthy combination of white and brown rice–sprouted, too, so extra nutrient power–and pleases my entire Standard American Diet-eatin’ family!  Hooray!  You have no idea how hard it is to find something healthy that will do this!  Thank you, PlanetRice.  Highly recommended.  Now hopefully we’ll be able to track some down back home…

*****

Well, this was a fun post!  Mayhap they will start to become a regular feature–a Fantastically Fun Friday Faves Feature!  Or, in the interest of not being murdered in my bed by a band of bustling, boisterous, alliteration-averse apes, I should prune the practice of such postings and crack down on the current craziness to circumvent catastrophic consequences.  Happy Friday!

#ThrowbackThursday: Stereotyping Teenagers

The following post was originally published by moi on September 12, 2012.  I felt the need to bring it to the surface again temporarily, just for a breath of fresh air, because it’s currently pretty relevant to me.  From the magical old library, I “checked out” a book on teen runners entitled Finding Their Stride.  It looks good and inspiring and motivational and all that–I’ll probably love it to bits–but I have a problem with what’s on the front jacket flap:

DSCN4071

DSCN4074Granted, it does say “improbable” rather than “impossible”, and it does say that such teenagers are “not unique”, but the fact that this teen stereotype is still so pervasive it needs to be dissuaded on the flap of a book cover irks me.  It’s just…I don’t like stereotyping anyone, I don’t think it’s at all beneficial and it really bugs me when adults discount an entire age group made up of millions of complex individuals as “slackers”, “delinquents”, etc.  So, have fun reading my rantings below!  😀  I promise I’ve got a much more “fun” post in store for tomorrow!

*********************************************************************

My parents came home from my school orientation last week with a paper written by one of my teachers, trying to explain the changes that we’re going through as adolescents and reminding them that these years “are marked with increased independence, clearer personal opinions, greater capacity for abstract thinking, and sometimes illusions of adulthood.  Do not be fooled.”

I’m going to try to avoid the valley-girl oh mah God monologue here and not say “Like, isn’t it like soooo uncool that adults, like, think they’re like better than us?  Like OMG, right?”  Because that would be very counterproductive to my goal in this post, which would be to present myself as a mature, insightful, thoughtful, optimistic individual who most likely is a tad younger than you.  It just frustrates me when adults do this sort of thing.  Maybe it is my hormones speaking–there’s no real way for me to be sure–but right now I would like to be treated as someone, not just a teenager.  I fully understand (and appreciate!) the guidelines set for me by my parents, which include but are not limited to internet hour restrictions, allowance restrictions, what I can and cannot wear out and about, and permissions regarding electronics (Facebook accounts, cell phones, Skype, etc.).  What frustrates me is when adults talk to other adults about teenagers, trying to pretend they understand exactly how we operate.  They were teens once too, I get that; but I also believe that adolescence is a time period marked by so much strong emotion that it’s really impossible to get a clear handle on a teen’s thoughts at any given moment.  (I’ll give you a heads-up: half the time we’re not even sure what we’re thinking!)  I have difficulty believing that adults really remember every experience they had as a teenager, and I think the experiences they do remember are pretty–well, crappy, and that’s why when they hit 30 or so they like to laugh off the struggles that we’re going through with a wave of their hand as they sigh “Those teenagers.  What are you going to do with them?”  I think that they are made so uncomfortable by their memories of adolescence that as they watch teens struggle with the same exact things they went through, they like to look down on us and pretend that they were superhuman during puberty, that they just glided through it all without any of those random mood swings or strong opinions or zits or any of the unfortunate realities of this age.  Adolescence is very much the elephant in the room.  No one really likes to admit that it sometimes stinks worse than my feet after a run.  (Sorry for that visual–I just didn’t want to put anything about moldy cheese or rotten eggs in there.)

So, really, is it too much to ask of adults to just treat me like…me?  I am all too willing to admit that, yes, I am less mature than you are, I am not as skilled in the art of life, sometimes I really screw things up, and, no, I can’t “use the force” as you probably can.  I know I’m pretty dang naive when it comes to…most stuff.  But, I am not so naive that, as I type this, I’m not wondering what my reaction to this post will be twenty years down the road, when I look back at my crazy teenage rantings through the eyes of an adult.  Maybe I’ll laugh at this, and realize that my arguments were baseless, that it only gets harder as you grow and it’s only natural for adults to want to pretend they understand what’s going through teens’ heads at a time period where nothing is really certain.  If that is the case, I apologize profusely for this post, and all you skilled-in-the-way-of-life beings reading it can just ignore it. 😉  Sometimes, though…I just would like to be able to break free of the stereotypical “teenage” mold and just be The Girl in the Orange, not a slacker or a delinquent or a valley girl or goth or punk or whatever.  Just me.  That’s all I’m asking.  Please respect me for me, and remember that sometime in the not-too-distant future I’ll be out of the house and experiencing the other side of this rant.

I’m back! Have a health survey.

Insert fancy and outrageously witty intro here!  We have just returned from our weeklong Wyoming stay, and my brain is the happiest sort of mush.  It has been a whirlwind of a week, not to mention the drive home (have I told you yet that it’s 17 hours??) but I was left with lots of wonderful memories and mementos.  Time to resort to the oldest blogging trick in the book–it’s SURVEY TIME!  😀  No, they never end up being as easy-breezy as they seem, but at least my frazzled neurons don’t have to bother with the creative strain of coming up with a post topic.  I saw this healthy-living survey on Run2YourOwnBeat.  But first, since we have just returned from Wyoming, the obligatory horse picture:

DSCN3896

Whew.  Okay.  Onto survey!  This is such a brilliant transition.

1.  What did you eat for breakfast?

Grape-nuts and chia seeds.  As I’ve said before, my body is shunning oatmeal lately and I woke up too late to really fix something “fancy”, so cereal it was.

DSCN0790

Yay for recycled pictures! 😀

2.  How much water do you drink a day?

Too much.  A gallon or more, plus milk, fruit and veggies, etc.  I’m not sure why I’m so thirsty (we’ve done the diabetes testing, yes) but it hasn’t had any adverse side effects so far.  Other than constantly-full-bladder syndrome.

3.  What is your current favorite workout?

Running medium-distance, around 3 miles—I just wish I was better at it and that my knees favored it more.  I’m also looking into CrossFit…although at the moment, I am epically non-fit, cross- or otherwise.

4.  How many calories do you eat per day?

Heck, I don’t know.  A lot, probably.

5.  What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Carrots + peanut butter, pita + hummus, fruit, air-popped popcorn, cheese sticks, nuts, nut butter, etc.  The standard.

6.  What do you usually eat for lunch?

Carrot & peanut butter sandwich?  This seems to be my go-to lately.  #thebomb

7.  What is your favorite body part to strength train?

My wonderful legs, because cardio kind of counts as strength training them and also it hurts very much less than upper body.

8.  What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

Arms.  Back.  I’m weak.

9.  What are your “bad” food cravings?

Chocolatewhyisthisevenaquestion.

DSC_0130

First time ever trying Kona (coffee) Cake...I did a lot of worshipping the Dark Lord over this trip.

as is an Oh She Glows' Iced Mocha Green Monster

Cheesecake 091

Anti-inflammatory!  Anti-inflammatory!  Woot!

010

MY handiwork!  MY handiwork!! (happy dances)

DSCN0782

I am woman, hear me roar.

10.  Do you take vitamins or supplements?

Often a multivitamin, a B-12 occasionally, and an acidophilus/probiotic supplement ever since my trip to Costa Rica and the ensuing gut bug. 😦  Bleh!

11.  How often do you eat out?

Rarely.  I think this is more based on lack of planning on our family’s part than disdain for outside eateries, however.

12.  Do you eat fast food?

Nope.  Actually, wait, hold on, I can’t really say this, can I, when I stopped at Burger King on our road trip just yesterday??  I ordered a veggie burger, sweet potato fries, and a large water.  So I guess I do—but once a year, or even more rarely than that.  I was hungry, you guys–beyond that, I was hangry.  You must really process this, understand how pressing the situation was.

🙂  (Source)

13.  Who is your biggest supporter?

Mah bad self.

14.  Do you have a gym membership?

Nope.  But I have a makeshift home gym in the garage!  It suddenly occurs to me that I’ve never showed you a picture of this, so here you are.

DSCN3925

It’s a bit roughhewn… 🙂  There’s a yoga mat in front of the TV for yoga DVDs, a few dumbbells/reistance bands, a dreadmill, a rowing machine, punching bag, weight cage, and pull-up bar.  Plus…a couch…for the Y-chromosome-havers of the house to play video games on (sigh).

15.  How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Oh, 9, at minimum.  Coffee the next morning is a given if I’m up past 10 studying or something. Smile with tongue out I sure wish I could be one of those people who just lights-outs for like four hours and then pops up ready for a new day (pretty much every other teenager I know), but I likes my sleep.  I’m a zombie without it.

16.  Do you have a “cheat” day?

Not consciously.  I eat a lot of chocolate.  I’m not cheating on anybody with it, though, so my conscience is clear…

17.  Do you drink alcohol?

Hahahaha.  I’m younger than you think I am.  I have been known to get a little heavyhanded with the vanilla extract, though.

DSCN3930

35%!!!  What can I say, I’m just a rebel grrrl like that.

18.  Do you have a workout buddy?

Mah bad self.

Also, as aforementioned, Daddio and I are running a 5k this month and participating in next year’s Seattle-to-Portland bike ride.  We shall see how training intensively together goes.

19.  What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

To be honest–I’m still working on that commitment thing.  I was really good for about two years, then with my knees, I fell off the bandwagon for 8 months and even though I’m not loving all the…changes…this forced exercise break put my body through, I’m finding it extremely hard to get back on said bandwagon.  You feel me? :/  I’ve tried multiple times to get back to my pre-fooey-knees exercise and health regimen, but no luck so far.  Lately I have discovered some new highly inspirational healthy living blogs, though, and they’ve helped a bit–also, my impending upcoming 5k is a huge motivator.  (I’m a competetive chickie.  What can I say.)  All I know is that I definitely want to get back to my old level of fitness, but it’s going to require a lot of mental stamina to do so.

20.  What was the last healthy thing you did?

Oh, I inhaled!  Inhalation is actually a really beneficial practice, providing oxygen to your entire body and providing a low-grade ab workout, while also serving to calm the body by reassuring it that it is not in a state of suffocation.  Winking smile  I jest, I jest.  No, once I really get up and at ‘em this morning, I plan to incorporate some form of strength training into my workout.  Been missing out on it lately in favor of running/exploring! Smile

Your turn!  Pick a question and answer it in the comments, or do the survey yourself! 🙂  Maybe you’ll be my healthy magic motivator.  Also, does your brain tend to turn to mush after travel?  I must confess I haven’t been exactly productive in the time we’ve been back…

Running While High

DSCN3793

DSCN3697

7,434 feet above sea level, to be exact. 😉

How can you not enjoy your evening run when you’re enjoying the above scenery^^^ while mowing through it??  I really wish I could just move this mountain back with me as my own personal running field.  Alas.  No matter what Dr. Seuss and any number of inspirational speakers may say, it’s severely hard to move mountains.  I couldn’t even figure out how to get the rope around it.

I was a bit worried about the oxygen-related complications this much of a jump (hardeehar) in elevation would cause while exercising, especially with intense cardio like the tempo work the friend and I were doing on our run–but it was actually kind of nice.  🙂  Too focused on the burning and hacking in my lungs, I didn’t notice my legs or core muscles fatiguing at all, even on the largest hills! 😀  It was a beautiful run (and I was proud of this post title) and I felt immensely accomplished after cooling down back in the cabin.  We only did two miles, at most, but there were quite a few hills, there was a thunderstorm chasing us (insta-motivation!), and we booked it.

Afterward we were quite tired.

DSCN3819And I need an excuse to show you this ice cream picture from the amazing KENDRICK PARK ICE CREAM STAND–seriously, this ice cream is one of my favorite things about the yearly trek back to Sheridan.  It embodies summer and childhood and post-swim-lesson starvation relieved by sweet, sugary, crunchy, creamy heaven.  You can just taste the nostalgia, like they churn it into the ice cream itself, and I could swear there was a hint of chlorine about it somehow, a happy tribute to memories of swallowing gallons of pool water before indulging.  The taste of simple childhood.

Except they removed my favorite flavor, Bear Claw.  Don’t ask me about how it tastes, because I will yadda on about Bear Claw until you have the urge to break out the claws yourself and maul my face.  Anyway, this time I got Espresso Almond Fudge in a Sugar Cone.

DSCN3878

DSCN3881Sweet silky heaven on a hot summer day.

This post has not been cohesive because my thoughts right now are for some reason not terribly cohesive, but we’re cool (haha, ice cream pun) with that, okay?  Okay.

 

WIAW: Intervention + A Smile Experiment

In my post about the weekend I mentioned that with all the cakes, pies, cupcakes, cake pops, and other manner of sweet things around the house, I was the burgeoning owner of a MASSIVE sugar addiction.  I’ve never been quite sure why this happens with me; I only know that I seem to have a very addictive personality, and things like desserts and blog-reading and vlog watching are its downfall.

I’ve been trying to “get clean” all week; I’ve improved somewhat, in that I no longer uncontrollably beg for a second slice of cake after finishing a meal, but I still have a ways to go in conquering this craving.  Over this week, I’ve been trying to slowly dial back my sugar consumption–today, I was supposed to go completely no-added-sugar, but, alas, we had muffins in the freezer…

DSCN3349 DSCN3350

The day started off well–I had a light (for me) breakfast of Chocolate Covered Katie’s 2-ingredient energy balls (in a lovely Tupperware container), followed by a banana and natural peanut butter.  True, the dates in the energy balls have a lot of sugar packed into their volume, but…I think running justifies this?  Even if one is only running 3 miles..?  Not sure.  Anyway, I needed an energy-packed snack that wouldn’t weigh me down while on the hamster wheel.

DSCN3352

Accompanied with some Celestial Seasonings African Rooibos tea!  I love everything about this tea–from the smell to the taste to the texture to the color.  It’s “red” tea; and, for the record, when the box bragged of cherry and toffee flavors, I thought it was too good to be true…but the stuff is truly like sweet dreams packed into tea bags.  And caffeine-free!  I’m addicted.

(And yup, I read food magazines over breakfast!)

DSCN3355

Lunch was simple–I’d like to say I was writing so much I didn’t really have time to put together a fancy lunch, but the truth is that I’d been telling myself I was going to work on novelling any time now for about the past four hours, and I really didn’t want any lengthy meal-prep to interrupt my procrastination.  So.  Leftover scrambled eggs + veggies in a whole-wheat tortilla it was.

(Afterward I was quite dismayed that I didn’t put any avocado in this, so I ate half an avocado on its own.  Also another tortilla.  Also some swiss cheese, and pickles.  I was HUNGRY, and craving eggy/cheesy/salty things!)

DSCN3357

At around 2 o’ clock, blood sugar levels must have dropped, because the intense sugar (and chocolate) cravings came back again, full-force!  They were quelled temporarily by a lovely (and oh-so-stunning, right? ;))  green–er, brown–smoothie made with banana, milk, spinach, and cocoa powder.  Thick, delicious, and easy to down while writing (which I was actually doing by this point!).
DSCN3359

But, of course, nothing gold can ever stay.  It was 5 o’ clock by the time my thoughts rolled around to dinner, and I was planning to make NeverHomemaker’s baked veggie pockets; alas, the dough required two hours of refrigeration!  I still went ahead and whipped it up as quickly as possible, but I needed something to tide me over until actual dinner could begin–I found solace in two banana-pb-chocolate chip muffins popped from the freezer (saved from breakfast at the Hatchday Party!).

DSCN3362Conveniently, by the time it was time to need to knead the dough (sorry–couldn’t resist!)  not only my blood sugar levels, but my serotonin levels as well, seemed to have dropped markedly, and I had, alas, worked my way deep into the heart of a Cloud of Foo.  (This is a term I coined a couple of years ago to describe the oh-so-lovely and horrific mood swings plummets characteristic of the adolescent brain, and also for the longer bouts of depression characteristic to my brain.)  I’m convinced that kneading, however, was invented by a furious baker, long, long ago, who sought a way to vent his anger without disfiguring the faces of his comrades.  Or perhaps a god of stress management.  At any rate, I felt much better after a heated 10-minute kneading engagement, and after about 20 minutes outside working on my volleyball skills with Family & co.

I was also smiling the entire time I was kneading–not because it had instantly lifted the dreaded Cloud of Foo, but because I, reader of things, had once heard that smiling, even if forced, releases immense amounts of endorphins into one’s brain, thereby instantly cheering them up even if they were formerly in a Cloud of Foo!  (Of course, I didn’t allow any members of Family & Co.  to see me at it; because, as you know, when one is battling a Cloud of Foo, one is too sullen to even attempt to be in an agreeable mood.  One becomes so stubborn that one doesn’t let one’s family see them attempt to smile, for fear that one’s family will think they are cheering up!  The last thing one wants when one is in a sullen mood is to be perceived as anything but sullen.)

Did my 10 minutes of forced smiling have any effect?  Marginally…I think getting my blood stirred up via kneading and volleyball was more efficient, though.  I also headed out to the garage/home gym a while after dinner to bang on the punching bag, and that was relieving.  Still, I think by then I was kind of resigned to feeling crappy for the rest of the day–I’m just looking forward to waking up in the morning, when my Cloud of Foo and I can “reset”.

A final, more WIAW-related line:  I’m drinking some more herbal tea as I type this up.  Partly in the hopes that it will soothe my frenzied mind, and partly because it tastes so awesome.  I think I might read some Bible before hitting the sack.  As I frequently remind you, my religion is as-yet-undecided and ever in flux, but I find it worthwhile for the philosophical value alone.  Nothing like pondering the meaning of life and morality to take your mind of Clouds of Foo.Dramatic Tea and Birthday Cake Baked Oatmeal 003

MIMM: Hatchday, Pretty Light, Knees, and Insane Decisions

Hey everyone!  How’s your Monday going?

DSCN3124 DSCN3127 DSCN3137 DSCN3143 DSCN3160 DSCN3159Mine’s been pretty…pretty, to say the least.  As a Washingtonian, such flagrant displays of sunshine are something of a rarity, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ve been taking full advantage of these picture-perfect summer days by frolicking about, soaking up the Vitamin D.

I’ve never really been one of those people who need an extra boost on Mondays to get through the week, even when school/activities are in session–I’ve just never hit the “Monday wall” that I guess so many people run into.  I’ve already confessed my nerdship to you guys–Monday is basically my favorite day of the week!  Not only is it usually pretty light on homework because teachers don’t like to take the time to concoct elaborate assignments over the weekends, school STARTS UP AGAIN and I know it’s going to be the beginning of a (potentially gruelingly) glorious week!

Still, it never hurts to get a little extra boost, even if your biggest worry right now is that the hammock that’s callin’ your name is gonna get lonely.

DSCN3140

The weekend was pretty enjoyable marvelous.  I hosted Citrus’ third hatchday party–I made sad-looking but still (IMO) cute cockatiel cookies and we bopped around outside.  There was a sleepover and we all got very slap-happy.  We were tired in the morning but there were muffins (with both lemon and seeds–perfect for a bird named Citrus!) made by me and a frittata made by Mother Dearest (with potatoes inside–tasted like hashbrowns!!).  I do so love hashbrowns.

Alas, we did not have a circular cookie cutter, so I had to shape the sugar cookie dough (nomnomnom) with a beer-can chicken prop-thing.  (My culinary vocabulary falters when it comes to meat…)

To make the cookies, I used the Savvy Vegetarian cookie dough recipe, this recipe for coconut whip as a frosting (tinted yellow with food coloring), Craisins for eyes, chopped up Watermelon Laffy Taffy for the beaks, and mangled “orange slices” candies for the orange cheek circles.DSCN3042 DSCN3052

This totally didn't happen what are you talking about.  Not straight from the beater, never.

This totally didn’t happen what are you talking about. Not straight from the beater, never.

I wouldn't recommend using A Taste of Thai coconut milk (pretty popular brand) for the whip--it has some sort of stabilizer added that prevents it from working too nicely.  I used...whatever this brand is.

I wouldn’t recommend using A Taste of Thai coconut milk (pretty popular brand) for the whip–it has some sort of stabilizer added that prevents it from working too nicely. I used…whatever this brand is.

DSCN3103

Beaks!  Haha

Beaks! Haha

Aaaaand the final result.  Bit homely, but that’s okay! 🙂

Citrus approves.

Citrus approves.

Other marvelous things today…

Can we talk patella bracing for a sec?  I’m in love.  I don’t think that’s hyperbole.  Anything that was enough to lift me out of the forced 8-month running break thanks to these dang knees is virtually a Messiah in my eyes.  (I think it was probably the braces in adjunct with my rest, stretching, physical therapy, orthotics, supportive shoes, and therapeutic ultrasounds, but hey, whatever works…)  To my surprise, I haven’t lost all of my (nonexistent to begin with) running prowess, and the braces allowed me to attend my first *OFFICIAL* XC practice last Friday!  I hope to attend two more this week!  We’ll see how that goes…alas, my mileage maximum right now is approximately 3.  (Maybe four on the hamster wheel?)  By the end of the summer we’re supposed to be easily running 8…

This brings me to my first INSANE DECISION OF THE DAY!  This one is way less insane than my other one, but it’s still a big thrill for me.  I signed up for another 5k!!  This one’s on August 24th, and, while running in the heat ain’t exactly my cup of tea, I’m beyond stoked!  If I can even get close to my time on my first-and-only 5k, then it will be a huge reassurance for me that, though my knees doth plague me, I can get my kickassery and (somewhat) speed back with enough motivation.  (To any “serious” runners out there reading this:  I know a 5k is not a huge distance.  It’s kind of a menial race.  But, alas, my body is NOT DESIGNED FOR RUNNING WHATSOEVER [sitting and blogging is more my speed, how ’bout you?] and a 5k is a big deal to me!)

Sweet Potato Chocolate Pancakes 009(Throwback to the morning of my first 5k, waiting in the starting line.  Pay no attention to the ominous disembodied hand on my shoulder; someone else is cropped out.  And notice the fear hiding behind the forced smile–the glazed eyes, the overall absent disposition.  I was convinced I was going to die that day.)

Incidentally, you know what’s harder than running a 5k?

………………………..Biking two hundred and two miles.

DSCN3158

Yeah, it’s insane.  We’ve covered this.  And it will require buying a new bike, and/or some road tires for my current trusty steed mountain bike.  But recently (yesterday-recently), la madre de una de mis amigas (I’m not sure why I phased into Spanish here, but I couldn’t think how to word it in English) participated in the Cascade Bicycle Club/Group Health Seattle-to-Portland bike ride, a one- or two-day event that spans a total of 202-point-something miles.  Which gave me a sudden and intense burst of inspiration.  It’s a recreational ride, not a race, but from my extensive Googling of the thing last night it looks. epic.  And everyone says you need to dream big and set high goals to keep your morale buoyed, right?  So.  I’ve got a year to train.  I post this to the internet so I can’t back down–next year, Daddio and I will be participating in the 2014 Seattle-to-Portland ride.  And we will rock that epic $#*@.

Much moreso than for running, my body (and quads) like biking.  While the farthest ride I’ve ever taken to date was just 40 miles with lots of hills, and I died afterwards–I’ve got a year.  Best get on this.

Ahh.  The inevitable foot selfie.  (For some reason I just tried to spell “foot” as “fut”…)  Daddio and I went on a short (10 mile?) ride today, and I plan to get some running on the hamster wheel done as well.  Fitness, here I come!

****************************************************************************************************

And arrachgha, yes, I need to do a poemography post today, since I’ve skipped out on that for, what, three weeks?!  Problem is, I only have one line to work with… #poetictrialsandtribulations

“Rather than people who shine–

I like people who glow

is the line, but I’m not sure how to weave that into a poem.  Would it be all right if poemography was extended to flash fiction?  I know I made the rules, but you guys can change them.  I’ll luv ya forever 😉