Carolina Beach

DSC_0281

IMG_0318[1]

Me and Austin.  We’re one of those couples who LOVES to do stuff together, but we’re also complete and utter workaholics.  We work tirelessly, go to the gym at some point at the end of the day, and are lucky to catch half an episode of Orange is the New Black before falling into bed, exhausted.  For weeks, we’d been talking about going somewhere, anywhere just the two of us, so that we could enjoy one another.  Finally, after a particularly rough Wednesday, I told Austin to pick between the mountains and the beach, and he picked the beach for us.  Thank…GOD.

Saturday morning, we woke up to cloudy skies here in Raleigh, but we were really determined to get the hell out of dodge and enjoy a little vacay, something we probably haven’t done silly Kelly invited us to Fripp in March of 2014.  (Shame on us, but we got married!).

Once we got to Wilmington, I was starting to get really hungry, so Austin stopped for a salad for me, and then we drove straight to the beach.  I de-robed in the car (thank you kindly to Kia for my tinted back windows), threw on a coverup, and off to the beach went.  As soon  as we sat down, we were pelted by rain, and we both looked at each other nervously, praying that the rain would stop.  And almost as soon as it started, it was gone.

DSC_0281 DSC_0280The weather was perfect, but due to some storms, the sea was really really rough, and going in much further than waist-deep was a little dicey, as the water was really pulling, and hard.  Austin and I alternated between splashing around, and reading books for hours and hours.  I forgot how much I really love the beach, and I didn’t really want to leave on Saturday when we did, but a windstorm picked up and started to make it really hard to do much of anything.  When we left, I’d wrapped a blanket around my head to protect my eyes…

DSC_0290Austin somehow managed to snap a pic as the wind was whipping around…

DSC_0291

DSC_0299DSC_0300

I texted Alexa while we were at the beach as she’s the donut specialist, and asked here where we could find a good donut in the area where we were. She pointed me to a place that was literally 500 feet from where we were sitting. Austin and I both ate two of Britt’s Donuts, the freshest and warmest donuts I’ve ever had. Totally worth the trip if you’re in Carolina Beach.

DSC_0302

We ate dinner at Dockside, a seafood place that we visited on the first spring break we went to Wilmington on. I managed to get through dinner without a drink (still sober!) and then we hit a local gated community for a brisk walk before it started storming, which is pretty typical for out there.

When we got back to the hotel, we were like two kids. We explored the hotel for a little while – checked out the pool, the breakfast nook and the fitness center…
IMG_0332[1]

I hopped on the treadmill for a little while in my dress and my flip flops while Austin tested the weight machines.

Sunday morning, we woke up and enjoyed a breakfast at the Best Western, and I treated myself to Frosted Flakes, forgetting that eating cereal ALWAYS makes me feel like shit. Luckily, we walked for over an hour on the beach, and that passed quickly. The best part  of  the walk was the fact that we happened upon a wedding on the beach, and lord KNOWS I love a wedding.

IMG_0335[1]We finished off the day with a trip to the Wilmington Whole Foods.  I was desperately craving a salad for the way home, so I told Austin I’d buy him lunch if he would take us to the Whole Foods.  It worked, and I got the most Caribbean/Indian salad know to mankind, packed with all sorts of curried “meats” and beans.

The weekend was so so great and relaxing, though way too short.

What did you do over the weekend?

Guilty Pleasures

Reeses Big Cup

I ended up coming home kinda late last night because I have a secret life.

SingerAfter I watched most of the soccer game (yay US women) with some friends and a fake cocktail, I scooted a little early so that I could jump in the shower (I was all gross after running with a friend earlier) and quickly get ready for a gig I had with an underground rapper in town.  As I was at the show, enjoying some of the artists, and before Mark “Franchise” Jusino performed, I realized how funny it all seemed.  I’m a Director at the Y.  No one in the entire world suspects that I’m out at a venue that serves no food, singing to an audience of rappers and their supporters.  But there I was.  Isn’t life funny?

So along those lines, I ate a Reese’s big cup yesterday (before I taught a class, no less) and I was thinking about those things that I love, that I’m sort of embarrassed to admit, as a somewhat healthy person that I enjoy.  I hope you guys still like me after.

Reese’s Big Cup

Reeses Big Cup
Big Cup

This thing is such treat for me.  I’ve long sung the praises of the Reese’s Big Cup, but I need to reiterate, this treat is FANTASTIC, mainly because of the peanut butter to chocolate ratio.  I love getting one of these from the gas station, saving it til I get home, and eating it when I feel the need for the sugar/salty goodness to hit my lips.

York Peppermint Patties

York Mint Patty, as my husband so sweetly calls them.
York Mint Patty, as my husband so sweetly calls them.

I don’t need to talk about why these are incredible and amazing. I really don’t. They just are.

A cold bubbly something.  A seltzer is the best.  A diet sprite will do. 

burger-king-large-drink

Cold seltzer. It’s not bad for you per se, but I think it’s sort of abrasive on your teeth. But one of these while you’re just cruising down the street in your white Kia Soul, listening to trashy pop. But I usually have to hide the cup. A BK Lounge Cup is never ever a good look at work.

A pop tart with a cup of coffee. 

Confetti TartNot this flavor.  That is disgusting.  But the strawberry with a cup of coffee is perfect.  Also 400 calories and an indecent amount of sugar, but, it’s a TREAT.

As a reminder, I totally do enjoy this stuff, but I’m not a total pig.  This is a once-in-a-while thing that I really really enjoy, which is how I mange to maintain a decent level of health.

What are your guilty pleasures? 

I’m a terrible homemaker.

IMG_0279 (1)

Hi everyone!

For anyone keeping up with my sober June deal, you’ll be please to know that I am still sober, and it’s such not a big deal, that there really is not reason to update you on it.  I feel good, and I think after getting over the initial fear that you’ve shot all your friendships in the foot by not drinking, it really isn’t bad.  I think Nene of RHOA recently went on Kelly and Michael to talk about her experience with her cleanse and she said this, according to E! Online.

“So I go and I have all these tricks,” she revealed. “I said water in a wine glass. Last night I went to the Polo Club here in New York and I said, ‘I’ll have a Red Bull’ and they were like ‘We don’t have a Red Bull but we will send someone down the street.’ So they got me a Red Bull and I wanted it in a wine glass. Everything to make me feel like I’m having a cocktail.” 

I totally agree, and have had a much easier time when I can go in with a trick that keeps me hydrated, and also keeps folks off my ass with questions about what I’m doing.  Austin asked me the other day if I’ll keep it up, and I imagine that after this 30 days, my drinking will look a little different than it did before.

Weekend Updates

I hope you guys had a good weekend.  I took a little break from the blog because with all the devastating news last week, largest of all, the massacre out of Charleston, I really didn’t feel like it was at all appropriate for me to be blathering on about the minutiae of life when a monster had taken the lives of 9 innocent people in Charleston.  The thing I keep thinking of is when I saw Stevie Wonder in April, and he sat down at his piano, and started his nearly 4-hour concert with Love’s in Need of Love Today.  This act in Charleston was one of pure madness and hatred, and there is nothing that’s more ugly or evil.  It reminds me to keep living each day to the fullest.

Ok, I’m sorry, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Switching gears, this weekend was really lovely because I got to teach a bunch and spend a lot of time with my sweet, sweet husband, which we sometimes don’t get to do on the weekends as much.  When we woke up on Saturday, I headed out to teach a Cycling class, and then went in and taught a Zumba class straight after, while Austin tried to coax the lawnmower back to health.  (He broke it last weekend).  When I got home, it was naptime, and then I headed out for a very short run before finally cleaning the house, which had gotten gross over the week.

Sunday morning, I met up with Amy, who trains at the Y, for about 6 miles in the State Park.

IMG_0279 (1)It was hot and sticky, and the horseflies were out in full force, but we really zipped along, and I noticed that my knee wasn’t absolutely killing me the entire time.  I’ve been really afraid to go hard with a possible meniscus tear in my knee, but since it’s looking like the process of getting it fixed will be a really slow one, I’m staying cautious on it, but not halting all activity.  I’m really hoping, if I need a repair on the knee, to do it around the holidays so I can lay low for a while and start training in the late winter and in the spring for any late spring or fall races I want to do.

The one lesson that was reinforced to me this past weekend?

I’m a terrible homemaker.

And it’s not like I don’t love a clean, fresh space, because who doesn’t, right?  But the actual consistent action of cleaning up, running a vacuum, clearing mail off the island, changing out the Plug-Ins, sweeping the floor, and throwing in a load of laundry and timing it perfectly so that I can fold it while I’m watching Netflix at night completely escapes me.  It frustrates me because a cluttered space makes me really crazy, and I know it frustrates my husband as well, so I really really need to brainstorm a system where I’m doing something cleaning related each day so my house doesn’t straight up get gross.  I feel like I’m just not wired to do this stuff though.  I’d much rather be writing a letter to my grandmother, or blogging, or running.  Washing clothing?  Not so much….

How was your weekend?  What did you do?  Are you good at house stuff?

Sober June Update – Two weeks in!

Hey folks.

It’s freaking hot.  I am not joking.  It is SO hot, I can barely stand it.  Austin and I had to wait for the sun to go down to go run on the trails last night, and even so, I ended the run completely drenched in sweat.  But that IS one nice thing about summer running – rather than starting the run off freezing and eventually warming up well enough to sweat, you sweat the ENTIRE time, and I feel like any thing that is lurking – whether it be stomach yucks from your antibiotics, gross food, or a simply terrible attitude – will be eliminated with that run.  It’s kinda like hot yoga!

So anyhoo, I’m on week two of being sober for this month, and I have to be honest with you.  I feel like I’ve cheated a little bit because I was sick for the first week-and-a-half, two weeks.  I was on antibiotics, which says RIGHT THERE on the label not to drink with them. Which has never stopped me before, but this time, I was so, SO profoundly ill, I didn’t want to really drink anything.  So overall, it hasn’t been super super difficult, even thought there were a few times this past week, when the thought of a drink PLUS a like, cigarette sounded great.  And I don’t smoke.

When it has been hard?

  • I had a really, really rough week at work.  My normal response is to flop down on the couch and crack a beer.  But I made a promise to you guys and to myself that this month wasn’t going to be that sort of month, so instead, I went to a coffee shop, and worked to untangle the work mess I found myself in.  But I sat on the street, and saw a lot of people eating and drinking delicious things, and I sort of wanted to join in the fun.  Total FOMO.  But it was for the best.  I recognize that wanted to crack a beer as a response to stress is not necessarily a healthy way to process my feelings.
  • I went to a real bar on Friday night to watch the soccer game, and it was a drinking-themed event.  I was able to convince the bartender to make me something that kinda looked beveragey.  And again, it’s not to pretend, it’s more to just have something in my hand to sip.  Then we went next door.  I sort of whispered to the server about O’Douls, and she started yelling about it to the entire table, so everyone at that bar should think I’m good and pregnant now.

Overall, it hasn’t been too hard.  But as I start to put myself in more of these regular situations, I have to think ahead.  I have a meeting off site on Wednesday.  There may be beer there.  What is my plan?  I’m going to take Austin out to eat for his birthday…where are we going slash what am I going to eat/drink so I don’t end up being a slob.  Planning ahead has been key for me.

Anyhoo, all that said…how is your week going so far? 

The OBGYN and the kid question…

IMG_0228[1]

Happy Friday folks.  This week has been a really challenging one.  I really feel like the moon should be full, or mercury is in retrograde, or something is going on that is making people completely bananas.  The number of bizarre interactions I’ve had this week has like tripled, and just finished up with a guy in Jesus sandals and a leather cuff interrupting my time with my laptop, and hitting on me I think.  I don’t know, I’m not always great at knowing when that’s happening to me, but I’m pretty sure it was.

Anyhoo.

Let’s start by looking at the most Indian/Trinidadian salad that has ever existed, shall we?

IMG_0223[1]I made this at Whole Foods, and compromised on the rice I really wanted, and threw the curried tofu with the peas and such on a bed of lettuce.  It was glorious, and I didn’t feel nearly as guilty as I would have with all that white rice staring me in the face.  Also…

IMG_0228[1]Check out this açai bowl I got from Happy and Hale the other day?  They put it on their Facebook, and it looked so tasty, I had to try it out for second breakfast that day.  It’s like some açai smoothie stuff in the bottom, some oats, coconut,  blueberries, chia, and something crunchy.  It was SO refreshing and SO filling.  I definitely would love to figure out how to make this and will definitely blog it when I do figure it out.

My trip to the OBGYN and the kid thing

So, all that food aside, I had my yearly exam at the gyno this year and I made a few observations while I was there.  First, I was impatient, and just scheduled my appointment with the first doctor who could take me, rather than with my normal doctor, and I will not be doing that again.  The doctor acted really strangely, and I honestly think her social skills are just lacking a bit, but that doesn’t always work when you’re conducting an internal exam on someone.  Instead of letting me know what she was doing, she just did it, and she scoffed when I asked her about some concerns I had regarding fertility and use of birth control long-term.  I feel like your doctor is like a medical professional, so they’re supposed to at least wait until you’re gone to laugh at you, but she wasn’t really having that.

Her strange behavior did lead to me think about a few things.

  1. I really would like to do some research on whether my usage of birth control long-term can affect my fertility.  My doctor, after she was done laughing at me, said that that’s not a thing and I shouldn’t be worried.  I’m fine with that answer, but I’m not sure I feel confident in the way it was delivered, and it’s a question that I’d like to pose to my doc, when he has an appointment available.
  2. I may need to switch practices as I start to think about the kid thing.  If there’s a chance that the woman I saw could be delivering my baby, I’m not really too comfortable with that.  I LOVE the guy I usually see, but this woman was just strange.
  3. We’re starting to talk about the kid thing.  Not right this second, and not tomorrow, but I would like to, God willing, have a baby.  There are just SO many factors that play into the decision, and I’m not sure when or if I’ll ever feel like those factors have all resolved, but I think we’re willing to give it a try in the next year and a half or so.
  4. Antibiotics and a healthy…ahem…situation…just don’t agree.  I’ve been eating probiotics like my life depended upon it, and I’m just now starting to get comfortable again   Eessh.

I’m not going to ask you about your personal OBGYN business today, because that’s not necessarily polite, but do tell me what you’ve got planned for the weekend!  I will probably be working since I was sick last week and wasn’t as productive as I could have been!

 

The Fitbit Surge

11412223_10100580707419653_6346048840898149942_n

Hi.  I’m still sober.  Still enjoying myself.  Might kill my husband because he’s talking over my show on Bravo, and I’m not 100% able to handle that with the greatest of ease.  Saw this little baby snake last night while I was walking with Austin.

11412223_10100580707419653_6346048840898149942_n
Garden Snake – NOT a Copperhead

Now unlike my run in with the baby copperhead last year, this guy was a million percent not poisonous, but he was laying in the street, and I almost stomped on him before Austin stopped me and we sort of helped him over to the side of the street.  Once we realized he wasn’t poisonous, I touched him with my finger even.  Call me whatever you call someone who’s all about nature!

The Fitbit Surge

See the fitness schedules that I'm working on for April and May beneath my new toy?
The Fitbit Surge

So, a month or so ago, I got my hands on a Fitbit Surge. Before, I had a Fitbit Flex, which is the plain band that you see a lot of folks rocking. I really loved it, but last year, just before the holidays when Fitbit announced their new lineup, including the Charge, the Charge HR, and the Surge, I set my sights on the Surge because it was like Fitbit had reached into my brain, and came up with what I’d been on long runs.  A lot of time, when I’d been running with my Fitbit AND my Garmin, I’d often wonder how and when the company would come up with something that combined the GPS with the activity tracker.  Garmin had come out with the FR 15, but I wasn’t super keen on the look, and I really wanted something that I could stay Fitbit friends with all my Fitbit friends with – I wasn’t a million percent ready to make the leap to a non-Fitbit product.  Call them illuminati, or whatever, but they totally got me.

Surge 2

So I got this thing a month ago, so let me run down what it is this thing does.

This is the Fitbit Surge, the activity tracker that combines GPS with step-counting.  It can be worn all day, just like your FItbit Flex, but it also can track your workouts, and keeps track of your heart rate through your wrist.  The app keeps things fun, and looks exactly like the interface for the Flex, however, it includes the stair floor equivalents of what you’ve done.

IMG_0217[1]IMG_0218[1]

A few other points you should consider before you buy:

  • Unboxing is ridiculously simple, and that’s what Fitbit has gotten right.  You can take it out of the box, charge it for a relatively short period of time, and pop in on.  Fitbit has also made it really simple to set up the device, or set up a second device on your phone.  The site is really really fun too!
  • The GPS hooks up really really quickly.  One of the complaints I’ve had with my Garmin (that’s overall amazing), is that depending on where you are, your Garmin might take its time to hook up.  That has not been the case with with Fitbit.  Most of my experiences with it and running (which admittedly hasn’t been a ton since my knee has been acting up), have been 20 seconds or less.  I’ve done about  dozen runs in it, so it’s pretty decent. [I have NOT tried it on a run longer than like 10 miles though, so I’m interested to see how it holds up to 20-milers.]
  • You aren’t gonna lose it like you did the Fitbit Flex.  I’m not proud.  I got drunk and lost my Fitbit at my sister’s wedding.  Also at Elon Homecoming.  Fitbit was great, and replaced it, but because there was that weird band thing, it would just pop off and lose itself.  This one has that watch band, so it won’t just run off.
  • The price.  Eh it’s $250.  That’s annoying.
  • Notifications.  It’s smart, so it hooks up to your Bluetooth, and your texts and phone calls come through.  Honestly, it was really cool at first, but kind of annoying when you’re on the treadmill and you’re being notified of this and that.  Like…no.  I don’t want you to be able to find me.
  • Custom workouts.  Love this feature.  You can turn on a timer/tracker thingie for weightlifting, elliptical, running, hiking, and just a general workout.  Very very cool.

Overall, I think if you have $250 and the itch for a new toy, this is a decent buy.  I definitely see it making some cool improvements over the years – I would love to see color and a more sleek face, similar to the Apple Watch (come to MAMA with that bit of tech), but for us mortals, I think the Surge is a fun and really useful addition, especially for us runners who’d been asking for something like this from FItbit for a minute.

Do you have any type of Fitbit or activity tracker?  Why or why not?

How my sober June is going.

IMG_0199[1]

I talked about my reasoning for a sober June here.

I’ve been the Annie in the airplane scene plenty of times.  I’m just really over it.

But, as fate would have it, no sooner did I utter the words Sober June, did the universe decide to hand me a present in the form or strep throat.  From Tuesday morning on, there wasn’t a single ounce of desire for me drink anything really, because it really made my throat hurt, but much less a vodka or something.  And I really love vodka.

So my first week hasn’t been bad at all, even though when I was reading comments online, folks who had done no drinking had remarked that social situations were really tough.

So I approached the situation like you would if you were trying to lose weight, and I made a plan for when I knew we’d be out at a bottle shop to see a friend’s band on Friday night.  It was a bottle shop, so no liquor, right?  Beer.  What could I keep in a glass that looked like something so I could avoid the awkward stare at my belly and having to answer questions about my road to recovery?  I bought some O’Doul’s, gave it to the bartender, and asked him to keep my glass full.

IMG_0199[1]

And no one was anymore the wiser!  I was able to socialize, without downing beer after beer, and it was really really nice to wake up on Saturday morning without too much trouble, or without a slight thirsty hangover.  A friend also pointed out that I avoided unwanted calories (no drunk eating), which is also a win.

I’m enjoying this – putting myself in slightly uncomfortable situations, and still trying to maintain sobriety is sort of a fun challenge.

How’s your June going so far? 

Apparantly, I’m not 21 anymore.

Happy Sunday, all!

I hope you’re doing well.  I’m doing much better, recovering from a little bout of strep.  God only knows how I picked it up, but when I mentioned it to a few girls downstairs, they told me they may have picked it up from campers/middle schoolers in the building, and that they had had it in the weeks before.

Strep is not a huge deal.  Kids get it all the time.  But in the course, it became painfully apparent that I’m not 20 anymore and I wouldn’t just bounce back.

After I stayed home from work on Wednesday, which completely killed me inside, I woke up on Thursday feeling markedly better, and I showered and gathered myself together to go into work on Thursday.  I made it through about 2 phone calls, and one short book study meeting before I was completely exhausted, and I went home, prepped some lunch, and alternately slept and worked while I was in bed.  I ended up going for a short walk that night to get some blood flowing, but was shocked at how winded I felt just going up and down stairs.

It’s clear. I’m not 21 anymore.

I used to be invincible.  I broke a bone 10 years ago and bounced back, picking up running in the years after I sustained and recovered from the injury.  I ran a marathon once, threw up during the race, took a short nap, and attended a housewarming later that day.  I once slept for 45 minutes, and was able to work a full day in a bakery later after a full evening of merry-making.  But I think those days are behind me.

I woke up on Friday, mostly recovered from strep, which kicked my ass for 90% of the week, and I was READY TO WORK.  Ready to tackle the world.  Give adversity the middle finger.  I came in around 10, and proceeded to catch up on all the phone calls, emails, and replacement of batteries that had piled up.  Before I could think about getting too tired, I hopped on an elliptical toward the end of the day, and the endorphins were flowing…

And I was even able to hop on the treadmill for a few miles before I stopped and cleaned up.

Today, my body let me know that it’s not down for any funny business just yet.

I woke up early, ate a handful of fruit, and collapsed for a 2-hour nap, following my full night of sleep.

I still have no desire to eat anything.

And sober June hasn’t been hard at all because the thought of drinking anything other than hot things and seltzer makes me retch.

I have never had an issue with aging because I’m 27, and though I feel like certain parts of me have grown for the better, the good parts that are supposed to stay young and fun have stayed.  But this?  This, where I can feel my body not responding to things as quickly and taking things harder?  That’s hard.  I don’t think I like it.

What are your thoughts on aging?  How do you know you’re not 20 anymore?

 

 

Sick Day

11108188_10100578518940383_5840287944072271675_n

I took my first sick day from my job with the Y in almost a year yesterday.

I came home yesterday from work early with an extremely sore throat, but still made it out to a cycling class before I realized I was actually sick and also a huge asshole for going to class where I could have gotten someone else sick.

I’m actually really sorry about that, I like to think of myself as a somewhat responsible adult, and I didn’t realize how sick I was.  But after I was done, the right side of my throat was killing, and when I took a peek back there, it just wasn’t good.

I was prescribed some amoxicillin, and started it immediately yesterday, and then I decided to make a batch of super super spicy soup, which I’ll share on here really quick.

Sick Day Black Bean Soup

11108188_10100578518940383_5840287944072271675_n

You’ll need:

  • 3 cans of black beans (we like the low sodium kind)
  • 1 Tablespoon of cayenne pepper (chill out on this if you can’t)
  • Southwestern seasoning (a little flick should do)
  • A thing of vegetable broth (low sodium kind)
  • 2 tablespoons of corn starch mixed into 2 tablespoons of cold water (this part is important!)
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa

Dump the beans into a large pot.  Dump cayenne and spices on top, and add the vegetable broth.  Stir, and bring the soup to a boil.  Add the cornstarch mixture to thicken the soup.  Stir, and add quinoa.  Lower heat and allow the soup mixture to summer for 20 minutes, or until the quinoa has softened and gets sprouty-looking.  Enjoy on it’s own, or with some chips, avocado, or a dollop of sour cream if the soup is too spicy.

* * * *

So for my sick day, I woke up, and immediately realized all that my fabulous plans for the day, which included a meeting with my supervisor and closing the building, just weren’t going to happen, no matter how badly I wanted them to.  I texted my boss (my throat was too sore to call), and let him know what was going on.  I texted some others to help me get coverage for the building, and made myself a cup of Thera-Flu tea before I took a nap on the couch for a few minutes.  As the day wore on, and I started getting more bored, I started to get really irritated because middle of the day television sucks, and my throat was killing me, and it was looking like I was going to be too sick to even walk, let alone run or cycle.  I chugged seltzer, laid around, and finally, Austin came home a little early, and it was nice to talk to a real person.

So I’m finally starting to feel better now, a full 24 hours from when I started the antibiotics, and I think I’ll be working tomorrow as well.  I’m glad I got the rest, but was horribly grumpy and bored all day.

QOTD

What do you usually do on a sick day?