What I’ve Been Up To

Work, Work-outs, and Homework

That’s where I’ve been! Hey guys! It’s been a while, and thanks to whoever just started following me recently when I haven’t even been posting at all hahaha. It’s just been CRAZY busy. But I cut out a few other social media distractions so I now can dedicate more time to my blog!! Yes.

So as of a little over a month ago, beginning of February, I took a job at Starbucks as a Starbucks barista! (Also I am posting this off my Ipad and it won’t let me post pics as I go so I guess they’ll all just be at the end lol) And so you would never imagine how hard, draining, and exhausting that job is. Unbelievable. Like it’s as demanding as me taking care of a bunch of ten and eleven year olds at summer camp last summer. And then I get questions like “Do a bunch of hipsters come in all the time?” And I’m like, “try senior citizens for black coffee, soccer moms, and junior high kids for frappucinos.” And let me tell you, their orders range from “Chai tea, extra hot, no foam, 7 pumps chai, nonfat, no water” to “orange mango, strawberry, and raspberry to the first line, lemonade to the second line, with ice and shaken.” So WEIRD, SO excessive, and many times I want to yell at them and say: “Look. If I don’t know how to ring it up or if I find your drink to be too obnoxious, then forget it. Go home and make lemonade.” It also goes so beyond coffee. Like we have to start our closing tasks way in advance if we want to leave on time at the end of the night AND so we’re not working our butts off to get everything done and stepping on each other’s toes. I could go on and on, but I think we’ll have time for stories later…

Work-outs. ๐Ÿ™‚

So since it was my spring break this past week, (I worked essentially full time last week) I literally did work, work-outs, and homework. That was my break. But I ran every day except for Sunday last week, and on top of that, spring actually came!! The week before, we were still getting snow. But I ran in cropped tights and a t-shirt! What?! It was amazing. I’m still nowhere near satisfied with my times. I had to do so much cross-training after the stress fracture and I still didn’t get to run as much as I wanted because we had such a horrible winter. BUT, my season has arrived. And from March- October, I’m gonna kill it ๐Ÿ™‚ Hoping for longer, but we’ll see how long I stay injury-free! haha

And there was homework. Ugh, life of a college student junior year. Enough stated.

So I’ve been really busy! And I’m actually writing this post in class….whoopsie ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I have so much more to say, but I suppose those will go in separate posts. I hope you all have been enjoying your spring weather!

xoxo

Starbucks barista life.
Starbucks barista life.
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Scout and Meeko ๐Ÿ™‚ Going for a walk!
Work hard, play hard. I've also been implementing a lot more lifting into my routine! I am actually doing specific body part lifts: back, legs, calves, shoulders, chest, etc.
Work hard, play hard. I’ve also been implementing a lot more lifting into my routine! I am actually doing specific body part lifts: back, legs, calves, shoulders, chest, etc.

Being Mirrors

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Love is a difficult topic. In this world, it’s hard to find acts of ramdom kindness and expressions of love. Though perhaps we are also at fault for not looking hard enough for the positivity and beauty. Nevertheless, God calls us out to be His chosen disciples. Because the world is so lost, He chooses us to be His mirrors. When people look at us and interact with us, they should notice something different. I hope that in my interactions, people can see Jesus living in me. What does that look like exactly? Well, I certainly will be spending my whole life trying to figure that out, but the first step is to love. “Love thy neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31.

Here we may run into another problem with love…What if you don’t really love yourself? I’ve struggled with this my whole life, so I know how you feel if you are a victim of insecurity and perhaps self-loathing. I pray that God can free you of this. He designed you; do not scorn yourself or you scorn his very Creation as not being good enough. I know, this sort of attitude does not change overnight, believe me. But with God all things are possible and all things are made new. Pray for a clean heart; pray today for freedom from any thoughts of negativity. These thoughts are destructive to you and will keep you from furthering God’s kingdom. When we are trapped in self-pity, anxiety, depression…we are only consumed on theses thoughts. These areย thoughts from the devil, not from God! I pray that today, you will just get a little farther from harmful thoughts and closer to God’s plan for you ๐Ÿ™‚ It is only then when we can love ourselves that we can truly give love and share of His grace to others.

Have a great Friday!! Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

Back to That Grind

Books

Well here are most of my books for the semester! For all you college kids out there, doesn’t this look about right? Okay sorry, English majors,ย does this stack strike an accord?

Luckily, I am NOT in over my head like last semester. Trust me, I know this looks bad, but I don’t think any semester will top the one I just had, and I still managed to pull off straight A’s!!!! Don’t ask. It was a miracle. The Lord was with me day by day. I am a Dean’s List student and have always been an academic nerd, and I will give everything my 110%. No doubt about that.

But here I am again, back to the grind of school. Today was my second day back so I’ve been introduced to all my classes besides my lab (yeah. I’m an English major but I gotta have those two courses of science. yay.) But I am entering this one strong. No falling behind; I am going to make sure I am as ahead of my classes as I can be and get a bunch of these projects and papers out of the way NOW. Makes a huge difference come April for sure. Some keys to success I’m going to uphold:

Get those papers and group projects done sooner.

I am not going to have this option with all of my papers, so the ones that you can fulfill at literally any point in the semester…yeah I’ll take that now! Especially while I am waiting to hear back from a job that I may possibly be starting at the end of this month!

Plan accordingly.

Well that sounds awfully vague, doesn’t it? But it’s the truth. I can’t be planning date after date with Luke, or have a New Girl marathon when there a billion things to attend to. Label the whole week out, assignment to assignment, and plan each day. I usually don’t spend hours on media or Netflix, but it can get easy to succumb to after a long day of classes and running. But when I just plan little things to do, or one movie to watch AFTER the work gets done, it seems like the greatest reward of all time. I tell myself, get coffee after you’ve done three more pages or having read this much for Friday, etc. Little plans suddenly sound like gold after all the work I’ve put in!

Smile.

Oh geez, I don’t know about you, but every bubbly brunette can also twist that alliteration into a bitchy brunette. I am guilty! When things get overwhelming, stressful, and I have deadlines up to my chin, I tend to want to drown everyone out. Friends included, classmates definitely included, and people who just want to ask me about my day can get the death glare from time to time.ย Not okay. Smile and push through it. Research has proven that “faking it till you make it” really does work, and I plan on doing just that, but also to genuinely ask more of my classmates about their days and how their studies are going. I want more people to know that I am praying for them; I want people to not look at me and think “Yeah. She’s having a rough semester.” I want people to look at me and think “Wow. Even when we’re in the grind of the semester, she still always has such a positive attitude and a smile.” ๐Ÿ™‚

Pray, Pray, Pray

Pray when things are good; pray when they are bad. Do it when you want to, and when you need to. I have so much to be praying for and I can’t let my prayer time get lost in the craziness, or my devotionals. Neither are going to suffer this semester ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s 2015, going in still as a Junior and will be finishing out 2015 as a Senior in college. Phew. Just day by day. The Lord assures us that He will strengthen us day by day and we don’t need to worry about tomorrow and what’s looming ahead. When we do that, we become overwhelmed and can’t handle all that we are about to face. That’s why we take it day by day, with God. It is then that we can really do anything ๐Ÿ™‚

Goodnight everyone! Got a good run in the morning waiting, xoxo

Late Nights Can Lead to Truth

Remember when we were little and would stay up until 5 am just so we could say we stayed up that late and to talk to our best friends about everything? We didn’t have work to get to, finals to cram for, bills to stress about, or obligations to think of.

We just had the whooollleee night. The whole long night with our best friends at a sleepover.

What I would give to have that again for just one night.

And if we are being wholly honest with ourselves, the best conversations come out after midnight, right? Or at least the truth does.

The truth came out some for me last night before I went to bed, though I’ll have to chew on it some more until I come to a full consensus. By the way, that phrase is cliched, but it is impeccable. “Chewing over/on something” really is the best way to say it. Because when we chew, we savor each different flavor of the food, feel the texture, sense if it’s spicy or bland, know if it’s salty or sweet– a lot goes on in that process. During the “thought chewing” process, I realized that a number of things need to happen.

  1. I need to pray. There’s so much swimming in my head right now, it’s crazy. I am certain you have all felt this on several occasions. Whenever I have become overwhelmed and up to my neck in thoughts, ideas, plans, obligations, worries…I pray. I pray hard, for extended periods of time, hoping I’ll hear something. Hoping I’ll know exactly what to do next.
  2. And listen. Being an active listener during prayer is tough. Being silent in everyday life is tough.
  3. And write some more. Writing helps organize the thoughts and mind. I have a lot of journaling to catch up on, and a lot of thoughts bouncing off of each other like pinball.

It’s a lot like meditating. All of these things occur only in silence. They do not involve other people. They merely involve God, the mind, and maybe pen and paper.

I am not sure what your debriefing, solitude, writing time looks like, but I hope that you all take the time to enjoy some this weekend. Because I look back now and see that we all did find out the truth in our youth and did a lot of active thinking…with each other at sleepovers talking for hours. Even then we needed the time to sort things out, make sense of everything we’ve been experiencing.

However, not just tonight do I need to pray and reflect, I have to make sure I’m making time for this every day. I typically do, but not for as long as I’d like. Even when I don’t feel like doing it after a long day, I need to remind myself that that’s when I need it most! I’ve had a long day; I should take time to digest it! Not for an hour, just ten minutes. I think I can always promise ten minutes of my day. And soon, this time will feel really, quite pleasant and soothing. It’ll be like having my massage at the end of the day, releasing all the knots and stress I’ve been carrying on my back ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you all do take some time out for yourselves and have some reflection. It certainly is cold enough to do so! And I hope you all have a lovely night tonight! Stay warm! xoxo

Runner Girl’s Clean Banana Bread Pancakes

Sometimes…runners have to get in the gym and pump iron. And work. And do work. And keep on keeping on. We grit our teeth and suck it up because we all just want to run. But every runner knows that he or she can’t just run and get by. Heck no. I have to do a certain strength routine every day and weight sessions twice a week. There’s so much to the mechanics of running, and that’s why I’ll put that up in a separate post ๐Ÿ˜‰

My workout today:

  • 30 minute elliptical session
  • 3×20 kettleball squats
  • 3×12 single leg deadlift
  • 3x 1 minute wall sits with stability ball between legs
  • 3×20 4 way straight-leg raises with 5 lb. ankle weights
  • 4x 1 minute planks
  • 3x 1 minute side planks each side
  • 3×20 mountain climbers with kettleball
  • 3×12 tricep kickbacks
  • 3×12 bicep curls
  • 3×15 stability ball hip extension
  • 3×20 stability ball tuck-ins (as ย I call them)
  • 3x failure Scorpion (feet on bench, in plank position, bring knee to chest, over to other arm, put leg back, repeat)

After a VERY good, hard workout this morning, I came home and couldn’t decide what kind of protein pancakes to make….then I remembered my famous banana bread and decided to make a banana bread pancake!!

Oh, and is it GOOD.

Sorry, but you guys have got to try this at home.

Clean Banana Bread Pancakesย image

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. milk OR 2 tbsp. applesauce
  • Water as desired for consistency
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 scoop vanilla soy protein isolate (or any vanilla whey protein powder)
  • Almost whole medium banana (leave a little to put slices on top!)
  • Vanilla Greek yogurt for filling

First, mash the banana with a fork (mine was not overly ripe, and it doesn’t have to be! Just has to be a ripe, yellow banana). Combine your dry ingredients first with the banana, then the water, milk or applesauce, vanilla extract. Once it all looks very well combined (will be some lumps from banana), then spray your pan and turn on stove to medium-high. Mine made around 4 small pancakes; make whatever size you would like.

As you stack the pancakes when you are all done, take a butter knife and spread a little bit of the Greek yogurt in between each one! Then on the top, add some sliced banana left over ๐Ÿ™‚

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Have a great Thursday!

xoxo

We Can Still Make It A Good Night

I live in the frozen tundra...but it's still home.

I live in the frozen tundra…but it’s still home.

My home has been Illinois for the majority of my life…with that comes a lot of frustration and downright turmoil. Of course Chicagoans are bitter and rude; it’s because we live with gusts of 50 mph wind in the summer, spring, fall, AND winter. So don’t get us started with the wind chill!!

Yeah we’re bitter about the cards we got dealt.

But here’s where it gets interesting. Location and happiness do not go hand in hand.

“So you’re saying that me moving to Florida, getting a steady job, moving into a new home…all of that wouldn’t make me happier??”

Yeah, basically.

When I said I have lived in Illinois for only the majority of my life, I am referring to the small periods of time when we moved to Nebraska when I was very young, and Tennesse, which was a move that happened just 2 years ago. We are clearly back in Illinois and back to our frozen popsicle-house, but we are amazingly happier here. And I’ll tell you why.

We wanted a change. Everyone in the house wanted a change, besides Katie. I mean, she was happy as a clam to stay back with her friends and cousins. Our grandparents also live just two hours away. But Mom, Dad, and I didn’t really care for all of those factors. We wanted to see the grass being greener on the other side; we knew it had to be true! There is nothing to lose when you go to Nashville!! Am I right??

But people are everything.ย 

And that is what makes all the difference. Do not think that you can re-create them somewhere else, because I have personally experienced that you cannot create those unique, dear, close friends who have been in-tune with you since Day 1. And when you transfer to a new school as a sophomore, people seem to already be pretty settled in their own groups. And when you get yourself in at a new job, the environment could be off. The boss doesn’t get your jokes, or your co-worker is lazy, strange, orย just has a tendancy to driveย you insane. I actually can’t really say anything for my sister because she was the one who actually did very well! Moving as a middle schooler?? Whoa. But Katie has just always been a success story ๐Ÿ™‚

Katie, though, was thrilled when she was told of the move back home. Back to our Illinois home. Back to the home of the same town, same restaraunts that we missed in Tennessee, same cousins that never have a dull moment, and same friends that never leave our sides. Even when we’ve been gone! Everything clicked right back into place, it was like we had never left. We all just picked up where we left off.

And I know we can’t do that with everything in life, so I am very grateful for this experience that I got to share a fraction about. So don’t be like us and spend all your time wondering when you could be experiencing the best moments of your life right where you are. Because I know all of my best memories come from this state and this town.

Make it a good night.ย If you had a fight with someone, see how you can ammend it. If you’re growing pessimistic, stop and reflect on all that you have and also how far you have come. If you’re feeling stagnant with your life….well I could help you there! Go running! Sort of kidding. If you are feeling stagnant, set up extra time for devotions, time with loved ones, time for hobbies. It seems that we can’t slow down enough these days to do one simple thing: love.

“The one thing we can never get enough of is love; and the one thing we never give enough of is love.” –Henry Miller

Have a good night everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

First Blog Post and First Blog?!

January 1st, 2015. A lot of firsts for me today! I am officially publishing my first post, and I cannot begin to tell you all how excited I am to join the blogging family ๐Ÿ™‚

But it looks hard, gosh does it look hard. How on earth will people find me under the thousands and thousands of other cool blogs? And I don’t have the money to just spend aimlessly to make my blog high-tech and super sophisticated.

However, with my fears aside, I know that I have a lot to share with you guys! I know that I can’t wait to share my workouts, motivation, recipes, and daily posts with you! I would love to be a trainer, so I hope to kind of live that through this if you all will let me ๐Ÿ™‚

At the same time, not everything on my blog will be all fitness/nutrition either. Which is the point of my blog. I want to write about life and running. I might vent about being a junior in college and how poor I am; I might share really thought-provoking posts. I might share ideas that just popped in my head, and I wanted to get them on here. The point is, I have so much to say, and I can’t wait to begin!

Let the New Year ring; I am ready for 2015.

Some things you should know about me besides running:

I love dogs, well my whole family loves dogs.

This is Meeko! He's only 2 and follows me around constantly :) The puppies need sweaters because Illinois is a frozen tundra, and they are little dogs...we can't have them freezing!
This is Meeko! He’s only 2 and follows me around constantly ๐Ÿ™‚ The puppies need sweaters because Illinois is a frozen tundra, and they are little dogs…we can’t have them freezing!
This is Scout, the older of my two Yorkies. He is almost 4 years old and is rocking a cheetah sweater on the right.
This is Scout, the older of my two Yorkies. He is almost 4 years old and is rocking a cheetah sweater on the right.

ย I love smoothies….a lot.

Pure fruit smoothies. Mango, strawberry, berry, banana, orange, anything!!! I have also been seriously asked if I am a fruititarian or not...
Pure fruit smoothies. Mango, strawberry, berry, banana, orange, anything!!! I have also been seriously asked if I am a fruititarian or not…

ย I am kind of a transcendentalist.

Well, not necessarily. Because I am also too extroverted to be a true one. But I do love nature. You all will see this soon, but sometimes certain changes of the season or a pretty flower can make my whole day. Or beautiful sunrises like this on my run :)
Well, not necessarily. Because I am also too extroverted to be a true one. But I do love nature. You all will see this soon, but sometimes certain changes of the season or a pretty flower can make my whole day. Or beautiful sunrises like this one on my run ๐Ÿ™‚

I am a coffee lover through and through.

I'm a coffee lover!!! No I don't really drink it black....I just like this shot. I drink coffee typically at one point in my day every day, but during the semester, I easily drink coffee twice a day to keep me sane and focused :)
No I don’t really drink it black….I just like this shot. I drink coffee typically at one point in my day every day, but during the semester, I easily drink coffee twice a day to keep me sane and focused ๐Ÿ™‚ What are your favorite flavors/drinks? My fave is a grande (medium) Americano with 3 pumps of white mocha. It’s one pump less than the usual, and this drink keeps the bold flavor while still being sweet and savory!