Friday, July 25, 2014

1 year ago...

I started this blog!  I cannot even believe it has been a year already.  Looking back at my first post I still remember writing it.  I forgot how awesome the sunrise looks in the summer time though.  I should probably start doing those morning runs again just to see that sunrise.  

So I started this blog to have a little slice of this internet world as my own and to add whatever I want.  It has been so nice to be able to look back through some of my posts and see all the recipes I've made and the little trips I've been on and all the other random posts in between.  

I know not many people read my blog, but that never bothered me.  I didn't start this blog for anyone else but myself.  That might sound selfish, but there's something about blogging that is almost therapeutic.  Being able to write out my thoughts and look back at them anytime is a cool thing to have.  Although if people are crazy enough to want to read what I have to say, then that's cool too.  I have also found some amazing bloggers out there doing some great things, and I am so happy to be a part of that. 

Since I am not sick of this thing yet, I plan to continue for another year.  My hopes are to start some sort of schedule with my posts because I feel like they have just been all over the place in the past year.  What that schedule is, I have no idea yet.  But I'm thinking a recipe post once a week, maybe like a 'What I ate Wednesday' idea.  I would also like to start doing monthly reviews or monthly favorites, on top of my book club reviews every month.  The rest will hopefully come to me as time goes by.  

This time last year I was getting started at my new job and my new apartment.  Now I am at another new home in another town, ready to make my own.  I would like to start exploring more and touring this town I call home.  Come along for the ride if any or all of that sounds like fun.  Here's to another year!  Let the adventures begin! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Sometimes it feels like all I do is move.  Which is kind of true.  Over the past 6 years I have moved at least once a year.  Some years it was more because I moved back home for the summer in the first couple years of college.  I am starting to realize why people don't move very often, and if they do they hire movers.  It is hard work, especially when you don't live on the first floor.  It also gets harder the more years you move because you tend to collect more stuff as time goes on.  

My first year at college I didn't need any furniture and didn't have a kitchen, so I all I really had was clothes.  The next year I still didn't need furniture, but now had a kitchen so I needed dishes.  The next year I was on my own for furniture so I needed a bed and a dresser.  And so on and so on.  As fun as it sounded to collect shot glasses, I am now starting to regret it after having to pack them all away for what feels like the millionth time.  It's probably about time I go through all my stuff and maybe get rid of a few things.  But I hate doing that too, so obviously that hasn't happened yet. 

There's still something exciting and fun about moving though.  It's a new place to call home and a new adventure.  New places to explore and things to see.  There's something special about that moment when you open the door to your new place for the first time and everything is empty and clean.  You picture all your stuff inside and how you plan to decorate to make it yours.  To make it home.  I am most excited about that moment when it finally feels like home.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Nutrition & Fuel

Runners Tell All:

July 21 - Nutrition/Fuel
What's your go-to fuel to optimize training and get you through race day? Do you have a race-day fueling strategy? What about training runs? Do share!

To be honest, I am probably the worst person to be giving advice about nutrition and fueling for a race.  That's because I don't really do anything in particular in terms of fueling for any race I do.  This could be because I mostly do shorter races where I don't need to worry about fueling for the long haul.  Also, I think it differs for every person how they prepare and succeed when it comes race time.  However, I have collected a few tips from my own experience that I can share anyway.

Before a race I tend not to eat anything.  I prefer to run, or exercise in general, on an empty stomach (assuming this is first thing in the morning).  This is mostly because I am either a) not hungry enough to eat first thing in the morning or b) I am too nervous that I will get a cramp or have to stop at the bathroom during the race.  If I am going to eat anything before, I have found that bananas don't seem to bother me and help keep me going.  

During the race I also tend not to eat anything because either a) there is nothing provided or b) again with the cramps and bathroom thing.  I don't really like those energy gels so I never use those.  I have done a few races where oranges were provided and I did enjoy that.  They didn't bother my stomach and they gave me a little sugar boost that my body needed.  I always take the water when it's offered though because I always get so thirsty while running.  I also don't like carrying a water bottle so it's perfect. 

As far as post race fueling, anything goes.  If it was a long run I am usually very hungry by this point.  When food and snacks are provided at the race, I tend to go for the bagels and the fruit.  Definitely have to get some more water too.  

Any recommendations for some good pre-race fueling??

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Brain On Fire

This month's book club choice was Brain On Fire by Susannah Cahalan.  

The Story:  
This book is an autobiography written by a writer for the New York Post.  In the book, Susannah describes her journey (or as much as she can remember) with a rare autoimmune disease.  She details her life before she was diagnosed through when she started noticing some changes in herself all the way through her long diagnosis which eventually lead to her recovery.  Since her disease is so new, it took a while for doctors to figure out what was exactly wrong with Susannah.  Based on all the tests and scans, there was nothing wrong with her.  However, she was physically and mentally deteriorating for no apparent reason.  The disease was causing seizures, drastic mood swings, and memory loss.  It was often described in the book as, 'her brain was attacking her body'.

My Opinion:  
I really enjoyed this book.  For starters I love autobiographies because I just find it so interesting to read about these crazy events that happen in people's lives.  I had never heard of the disease until I read this book.  Her disease was called Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.  To be honest I still don't exactly understand it, so I'd advice a little Google search for more information if you're curious.  But it sounds like something was triggered in her brain (the reason it's triggered is unknown) to attack these receptors in her brain which lead to the psychological side effects detailed in the book.  

The book really got me thinking about our current medical practices.  I am so thankful how far we have come in the medicinal field with all of the illnesses we are able to prevent and cure compared to even just 100 years ago.  However, Susannah made a comment in the book that really got me thinking.  She mentioned how busy doctors can be and sometimes they may rush to get you in and out and not always take the extra time when you know something is wrong.  I think this often leads to misdiagnosis and putting people on the wrong medicine.  Since there was nothing physically coming up on any of the tests done, this disease was being considered as schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder.  And since this autoimmune disease is so new (discovered in 2007) it makes me wonder how many people out there have been misdiagnosed or have been placed in a psychiatric ward when they need completely different treatment.  

I have never taken an anatomy or psychology class so I am not very knowledgeable about this topic.  But I find it so interesting how complicated the brain is and how one minor offset can completely change how your body operates.  I would recommend this book to a friend.  It is an interesting read and I felt like I learned something.  It also kept me thinking and curious to learn more, even after reading it, which is never a bad thing. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What's in my bag?

I decided to do this link-up today because it just sounded too fun to pass up.  I have seen these type of posts on several blogs and even on YouTube.  I don't what it is about seeing other people's stuff that is so intriguing.  But for some reason I really enjoy looking at all the cool stuff people have or maybe some helpful things that I should be carrying around too!  So instead of just snooping around other people's bags, I decided to join in and share my stuff too. 

For starters, my bag is Michael Kors.  It was my Christmas present to myself last year and also a congratulations for being at my job for one year.  This is my first and only brand name purse.  I usually just get my purses from Target, but I felt like it was time that I get at least one grown up, legit purse.  And I love it!  So I didn't feel so bad for splurging on it, but the holiday sales sure helped too.  Does anyone else feel like they have to justify in their heads before buying expensive things?  Because I do. 

There are a lot of little pockets inside which helps the purse not turn into a black hole.  In the pockets I usually carry lotion, some band-aids, hand sanitizer, chapstick, hair ties and clips.  The usual necessities for any girl.  We are so prepared! 

In the zipper is where I like to keep the things that I don't necessarily want people to see if they were to look inside my purse.  Don't worry, I'm not hiding anything crazy, just some super girly things.  Which include tampons, birth control, tissues, more chapstick, and more band-aids.  

The rest of my stuff just gets thrown in the middle of the purse because I use it the most or it's too big to fit in a pocket.  This would be my wallet, these amazing headphones, a notepad, phone charger, gum, cough drops, water bottle, and my keys.  

Seriously though, I am obsessed with those headphones.  They are the only pair I have ever found to not fall out of my ear.  Which is perfect for working out when you get all sweaty or even just walking around, if you accidentally pull on the cord they don't get ripped out of your ear.  I also like to keep a notepad in there because you never know when you're gonna think of something important that you don't want to forget.  Honestly the cough drops were hiding on the bottom and have probably been in there since winter.  This was a good excuse to clean out my purse. 

And that is it.  Sure doesn't seem like I have that much stuff in there until I empty it all out.  

In Its Time