Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Pinspired Project: Chevron Accent Wall

This post is off-topic from my normal subjects, but I just thought I'd share. I've borrowed so many ideas from Pinterest, but this is one of my favorites I just completed today, the accent wall in my sons bedroom.

Soon after finding out I was pregnant, I was glued to Pinterest looking up nursery decor ideas. I switched color schemes a million times. I finally settled on one (navy and grey with red and green accents). Well my mom painted my son's room for me while I was still preggo, but I knew I wanted to complete the print sometime after I gave birth. Felt like I would've been asking for too much had I asked my mom to do what I'm about to show you plus all the other stuff she did for me while I was preggo.

Anyway, so here's step by step in picture form of what I did pretty much. The original and more detailed instructions came from this blog here, but there's hundreds of other tutorials for you to choose from.

Step 1: Use a straight edge to draw a grid using chalk

Step 2: Use different color chalk to create the Chevron design by drawing diagonal lines in each box. I know those chalk lines aren't straight. I just got lazy and I knew once I started taping I could get it right.

Step 3: Use the "yellow" chalk lines as a guide when taping and then afterwards wipe the chalk away, if you're confident

Step 4: Paint, remove tape before it dries completely,  and voila!

I bought this paint at WalMart. I used Slate Grey and Royal Navy paint swatch from the Glidden Collection, but the brand of paint I used was Color Place. I have wall art not pictured that I will hang on this wall...probably the first letter of his name.

Hope you like it :)


Saturday, June 28, 2014


Good news! I got 7.5 hours of sleep the other night when the baby was away. Yippee! I woke feeling refreshed and ready for the day. I started off with a light snack and then attempted to leave. I was headed for the door until I realized I left my car keys in the hubs car from date night. Soon after he returned home to give me my keys, I was out.

My blunder meant I couldn't run outdoors as planned due the distance away of the park and the time my class started. But no worries, I just ran on the "dreadmill" on the hill setting, alternating between levels 3 and 6 to try to get that outdoor feel as much as possible. I had originally planned for 4 miles, but only had time for 3. Hope it works.

You know you had a good workout when you have to lift your thigh and put it in the car
I was amped to go to my Body Works Plus abs class because my favorite instructor taught. She doesn't just do normal, "okay, class let's warm up, now let's work our arms, now let's work our legs" routine. She sets you up for what the rest of the workout will be like with her warm-ups. Her warm-ups are just like an entire exercise routine.

Anyway, I like her because she does high intensity interval training. That reminds me I'm supposed to be ordering the Polar transmitter link to go with my GPS watch so I can start back tracking my calories burned. I'm sure I burn an easy 500 in her class...easy!

After class I took more advantage of the baby not returning until the afternoon and I did a little grocery shopping. I am planning to post another grocery haul post as an update to my old one, but I keep forgetting. I may just start doing, "what I ate for the week" or something like that.

Ever since the hubs and I have been training for this race we have been eating, I guess you can say kind of like how a body builder eats or just someone in general who is trying to gain muscle, give or take a few cheats here and there. Pretty much high protein, lot of vegetables, and our carbs come from the vegetables mostly. Eating this way really makes it easier on me because most weeks I'll just cook all of our meats on one day and then that's less time I have to spend in the kitchen during the week. I love to find ways to save on time. It's a must for me.

We were doing this as we trained for the 10k, but I think I may continue even afterwards. I'm trying to see muscle definition and I've been going 10 weeks strong, so why not. That

reminds me, I'm proud of my husband who has lost almost 20 lbs since starting his running journey back up. Now he's all like, "my body is a temple", lol. Okay, sir! Whatever works for you. ;-)'


Today was my last long run until my race on the fourth.

Cheers to the last week of training!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Oh, so tired!

Happy Thursday! This week has been blah up until today for some reason. I started the week off right, but when Tuesday came... I don't know, it's like the tired monster came and attacked me. I skipped running Tuesday and said I'd make up for it Wednesday.

Wednesday came and the hubs and I actually made it to the park, unpacked the stroller, strapped the boy in the stroller, warmed up for .34 miles, and then the boy went hysterical. Needless to say, mama didn't check all basis before starting. That kind of stressed me so I gave up and went back to the car and let the hubs get his run in and said to myself, "well, I'll just have to do triple time on Thursday and Friday." I said that forgetting that I had plans during the day today that would interfere. Sounds like excuses, excuses, excuses...

So, my race is next Friday, it's Thursday today, and I haven't run all week. Fortunately, the hubs and I have plans this evening and will get to have an impromptu date night while the boy is spending the evening with Nana. :-) 

"Helping" me cook dinner
... and fold laundry
I miss my baby already, but I'm going to take advantage of the free time while I have it. My goals for this evening are to relax, have fun, and get at least 8 hours of sleep (preferably 10, lol) so I can wake up, run and go to the gym in the morning. 

Side note: If anyone had told me it's possible that I may not get a full night of sleep in over a year after becoming pregnant, I would of thought they were lying! But it's true. It's going on 15 months of no sleep PEOPLE! I might crack, I tell ya!

Any random tips that aren't in the books for getting a child to sleep through the night are SO welcomed.  :-)

Sleepy Mama

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Update: Health & Fitness Apps I Use Daily

I thought I'd give an update on the health & fitness apps I currently use. I think I'm on my third smartphone since starting this blog in 2011, so I've gone through my share of apps. Some apps have made it through to the new phones, and others didn't.

Nike+ GPS Running app - allows me to track my distance, time, and pace while running. I also have the watch. Depending on the situation, I will use one or the other. For shorter runs I've been using the app just so I don't have to wait until I get home to upload my run to the computer to see my splits. Sometimes I don't want to hear the voice prompts (and don't want to change the settings each time) during my runs, so I'll use my watch. For races, I use my watch...just looks cooler, lol.

Lose It! app - I use to use this app religiously. This is what I used to lose weight. See a full review here. Now I use it on occasion. Like when I want to measure my protein intake...or to see if I've eaten enough calories since I'm breastfeeding. Sometimes my appetite isn't up, but I HAVE to eat a certain amount in order to keep my milk supply up for my son. I also use it to track my weight. I like visuals.

MapMyWalk - It's simple. I use it when I'm walking...usually with my friends or family who aren't runners. And because I'm a "running snob" and have diagnosed myself with OCD, I don't want to mess up my overall pace record on my Nike app. :-)

Gymboss - I use this app when I do HIIT workouts at home or when I'm doing a jump rope Tabata workout in my garage.

Nike Training Club  - I use this as a cross training go-to. The workouts are really good. I followed a program earlier in the year when I was trying to get ready for my first race postpartum. It whipped me good! Plus now it syncs with the Nike+ running app.

LA Fitness - Welp, that's my gym. I use the app to refer to the class schedules.

Run 10K -  I was going to use this app to get ready for my upcoming 10K, but... I fell off and started following another training plan I liked better. I may restart it just for run to make sure I'm keeping up with running period after my race in two weeks. I digress, but after this race, I plan to really focus on cross-training more and less running, just to get stronger before I start training for any Fall half marathons I'm thinking about doing. Plus, running in the heat isn't fun. 

KP - KP? Well, that's Kaiser Permanente, my health insurance provider. I really could of omitted for the purposes of this post. :)

Sworkit - is another app I use for cross-training. It allows you to choose a workout based on your goals, whether you want to do cardio, yoga, or strength training. You choose the length of time you want to workout and it customizes a workout for the day for you.

This post reminds me of an old post I wrote about setting and sticking with your goals and how certain apps helped me in doing so. I also mentioned in that post how I like structure and plans in order to help me stick with it. I wrote that three years ago...there's a lot about me that's changed since then. For instance, I LIKE working out with the group and have gotten more comfortable going to the gym. 

But anyhoo, what health & fitness apps do you use? I'm always open to something new. If you've written a blog post, link it below please. :-)


Monday, June 23, 2014

Starting the Week Off Right

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Happy Monday! I'm happy to report that I did not skip my long run yesterday and I did a Body Works Plus Abs class at the gym this morning.

In my previous post, I skipped my run Saturday because I was busy and unmotivated later in the day and I was actually doubting myself that I'd get it done Sunday, considering Sundays after church are normally lazy days for us.

With only a little less than 2 weeks left before my 10k, I figured I may as well. I knew postponing until today or the following weekend would mess my taper week up. So...I sent a text to a friend who is running the same race (benefit of running buddies) and we met up. Come to find out she's been busy due to work and hadn't run in 3 weeks, hence the slower pace. I didn't mind being there to motivate her, because I almost skipped myself like I said.

We just wanted to get the miles in, so we did run/walk intervals.

Sorry for awkward angle. I'm not into taking gym selfies in the mirror, lol
My training plan calls for a rest day, but I hadn't cross-trained in over a week. My son had off and on low-grade fevers last week, so I didn't want to send him to the Kid's Club all cranky, etc. I didn't do anything at home either. 

There was a substitute teacher for this morning's hour long class. She was pretty good. For the first half of class we did high intensity interval training (HIIT), the next half we did supersets with the free weights (my arms were on fire), squats, lunges, and the last part we worked our abs.

I thought I would've lost a little strength since I hadn't been to a Body Works class in over a week, but I did pretty good...comparing myself to others in the class anyways. I try really hard to push myself to my limits and visualizing my goals honestly does work...that and looking in the mirror and not wanting to look goofy or want to give up (benefits of group workouts, for me). :-)

This picture is the epitome of #momlife and #fitmom. When baby is hungry, everybody better stop! He had two ounces of breast milk leftover, but he still had to nurse afterwards in order for us to have a pleasant trip home. My classes always cut into his first nap of the day. Thankfully, he didn't miss much of it and slept until we got home. And I sat in the garage and answered texts and emails. :)

Anyone else take the long route home when baby's napping? :-)


Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Tortoise Catches Up With the Hare

Don't you hate it when you show someone how to do something and then they do better than you? :-)

By no means is this post meant to throw anyone under the bus. I guess I should be thankful, but I nagged  reminded the Hubs of how important it is for him to become physically active again for several obvious reasons. He was growing out of his clothes, he was extremely lethargic, etc. etc. Well, fast forward to 8 weeks later, yes EIGHT consistent weeks later, my husband is back to running consistently. Matter of fact he is up to a 10k and will be running the Peachtree Road Race on the 4th with me. 

Why am I salty you ask?

Well due to circumstances that are too lengthy to mention, I was unable to run with my group this morning to practice the route or run period this morning. My plan was to finish all of my errands and run this evening when it cooled down, solo. Uh, yeah... after the morning I had with other folks kids, and several volunteer tasks, once I sat down on my couch around 5 this evening I knew my running shoes would not be moving from it's current spot. 

I feel like such a slacker for skipping my long run today. I can do it tomorrow, but I know how I am. How likely am I going to willingly go run 6 miles solo, after church, after cooking dinner, after that Sunday afternoon nap, after meal planning for the week. Hmph. :-( 

This would happen to be the only part of racing that I don't like. I don't like the feeling of being required to run a particular day. I like running just to run, not so much because I'm scheduled to. This feeling is what made me take a break from racing besides my last half marathon before I became pregnant. I just need to get it done. BUT, I know that in order to perform as well as I want, I need to stick to a training plan.

What do you do when you feel like a slave to your training plan when you just want to take a quick break? Have you ever trained someone to do something and they became better at it than you?


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie + Sweet Potato Chips

Since I started nursing my son, I've wanted to find a replacement for my usual protein powder. After researching, I found that I shouldn't take whey or soy protein because it may affect my milk supply. In order to still increase my protein intake, especially after a workout. I make a more conscience effort to get my protein from "real" foods instead.

Below is one of my favorite, a strawberry banana  smoothie. You'll see the recipe below, but typically in a weight loss smoothie, I would use water. I have to be sure I am eating enough calories to supply milk to my son, so I just used skim milk. I think it's a better combo with the Greek yogurt anyways. Mixing water and Greek yogurt? I don't know about that.

Makes 2 servings:
1 cup of skim milk
1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
1 cup of frozen strawberries
1 medium sized banana
1 tbsp of flax seed
*you can add a little oatmeal to make it even more of a meal, plus more filling

This is a new found snack that I must be careful of! These sweet potato chips are SO good. They were not greasy or salty. They taste refreshing, crispy. Coming from someone who didn't even like sweet potatoes growing up, I'm surprised! I could of literally eaten this whole bag in a day.

I just wanted to share my two new latest snacks, since I'm always on a prowl for something new when I grow bored. 

What are your latest healthy or semi-healthy snack finds?


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

10k Training Woes: Will I be ready for the heat, hills, and humidity?

3 Things:

1. Sticking to my training plan to the "t"
2. Comparing post baby performance to pre- baby performance
3. This HEAT!

Okay, reality is, I have a baby now. Some weeks I actually CAN stick to my training plan, but sometimes I just can't. If you know any Type A folks or you are one yourself, then you may understand where I'm coming from. I like things to be done in order, on schedule, and complete... and if I'm off by a millisecond of my goal, I like to be able to "trace my footsteps" to the culprit. Sounds a tad bit anal when I read that aloud, lol.

Last week was an off week, not because of lack of effort, but because of the weather and schedules. It rained a few times here last week. I only like my son to go to the Kids's Club in the mornings. The teacher is an older lady and the mornings are when other younger kids near his age are there. The afternoons: younger teacher, bigger, I ain't sending my baby to get neglected and trampled over. (sn: no judgement towards young teachers, because I was once was one. But one evening, I "observed" her browsing the net while the kids were running a muck) So, anyway!

I had a pretty decent long run at the end of that week, considering I didn't have "great" training runs and a couple were on the treadmill. Below is a comparison picture from 6 weeks ago when I ran the same route in similar weather. The top run I was just starting back to running consistently (besides before my last 5k in January) and as you can see I ran an average 11'02 pace. The bottom picture was a significant difference in average pace and almost the same distance. I'm pretty proud of myself that I was able to shave off that much time. I've been doing something right. :)

Now, as for this Atlanta heat. I usually don't race in the summer because of the humidity and heat. It has nothing to do with not wanting to try it, but I don't feel my best running in the heat all of the time and it can be dangerous. With a baby, I can rarely make it to the early morning group runs like I used to or run in the evenings (trying to keep him on his bedtime schedule). BUUTTT, in true "I love to run", "I am a runner" fashion, I don't want all my hard work to go to waste, so I'm starting to think about what race I can do after the Peachtree so my mileage won't go to waste AND to keep my miles up for the fall half marathons I'm eye-ing.

I wish myself luck on the rest of this journey. The race is in almost 2 weeks, I think, and I ran for the first time this week today (Wednesday) lol. Uh, yeah.... I'll be putting in twice the effort for the remainder of the week. I've just been SO BUSY lately.

In other news, I'm planning an updated grocery haul and I've tried a few new food items I want to share. Until next time.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Upper Body Home Workout

Things I am currently working on: my form while lifting weights.

I realize after the fact and counsel that I should of been in a 45 degree angle instead of tooting my booty up in a 90 degree. I hope I worked some part of my back while doing it incorrectly, otherwise... Big waste of time.

I gave my legs a break today and worked my upper body. I started with a simple jump rope warm-up and then worked my arms, shoulders, back, chest, and whatever muscle you work while dead lifing. :) I did 2 sets of 20 per exercise and two rounds. Finished by jump roping and stretching.

Tomorrow I'm due for a 3.5 mile run. Hopefully I can get out the house before the weather gets too hot, mainly for my son's sake. Or I'll have to go in the evening. I'd rather get it over with in the morning. It's 1 am now... I think I already know what time of day I'll be running. 

Did you workout today?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Peachtree Road Race Training Update

I haven't blogged my workouts in a while, but I've definitely been 'going hard in the paint' (lol). Seriously, I think I'm going on 4 weeks strong of running and cross training workouts. I haven't missed a long run and I've actually added 2 more cross training days than I have to. 

My DVDs got boring so I signed my baby up for the Kid's Club and have fallen back in love with the Body Works Plus Abs classes. I have been going so consistently that I have my favorite instructors now. I love that I am getting my strength training in and I can tell a huge difference.

This particular day, my husband and I warmed up by running around the track, did hill repeats for about 20 minutes, and then ran a mile around the trail. Afterwards we played around with the basketball. Well, I did more playing, he did more actual shooting the ball in the actual hoop. That's his domain, running is mine. "Coach" said I need to work on my range... uh, yea, that means what? :)

My Body Works instructors are no joke. I have one that is kind of old school. She starts the class up with a lot of cardio for the uncoordinated, smh. I don't really enjoy that part...because if you haven't guessed, I'm amongst the uncoordinated. The other 2-3 instructors I've taken are new school and the entire class is basically HIIT (high intensity interval training). With HIIT, you burn a lot more calories. In all of them you are lifting weights at the same time and doing core work. It's very important to have a strong core when you run long distances.

Besides the weekend of my family reunion, in which I went ALL IN. I've been doing pretty good with eating and eating 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. I recently started back up shopping at the farmer's market. PAUSE: I apologize if this blog post has a lot of info in it, but I haven't blogged in a while :)) I'm slowly transitioning my family into eating grassfed meats and purchasing local/organic produce. I'm trying to figure out how to do this while sticking to the same budget. 

My last long run, 5.5 miles was supposed to be 6 miles. I could of walked or ran slower on the treadmill to get to the 6, but I got a headache (need to practice my breathing), and towards the end I kept looking at my Nike+ app, so that broke the "zone" I was in. I already have a hard time running on the treadmill sometimes, and to get all the way to 5.5 (my longest run on a treadmill since 2012, I think) and to just stop half a mile short of my original I ran on the hill setting on level 2 or 3. I hope this really simulated an outdoor run. PLEASE! I'll be back outdoors later today for a 30-40 minute recovery run to test my legs and endurance. I always get nervous about my next outdoor run after I've run on the treadmill. Another reason I don't prefer the dreadmill. But hey! Check out those negative splits!

Speaking of legs (see, blog post about EVERYTHING TODAY), I can actually barely walk. I took a Body Work Class Friday evening, walked 1.5 mile Saturday morning, ran those 5.5 miles, and then walked another hour around the zoo in hard flip flops. Despite, I do still need to run today, but Monday I will be giving my lower half a break. This probably means I need to skip out on Body Works and go lift Monday. We'll see how I feel because I really still am uncomfortable lifting alone with all of those dudes. lol. It's true and I know I'm not the only female who thinks this way. :-P

Well, I think that takes care of my "catch up". Less than a month until race day.