Monthly Archives: September 2012

Spiritual vs Bodily Training

I’ve been reading a lot in 1 Timothy lately and this passage has been especially interesting to me:

“…train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:7-8

I spend a good amount of time training my physical body. I enjoy working out, I love to reach new levels in fitness, and I am pretty devoted to keeping my physical body in shape. When I read this passage, the question that hit me was “how much time and effort do I put into training myself for godliness and spiritual growth?” As these verses say, physical training DOES have some value, but spiritual training and growth is even more important. Physical training will benefit us in this life – we’ll feel more energetic, have better health, more focus, etc. – but once this life is over, how much will all that stress over fat, calories, exercise and working out really matter? Whereas, with spiritual training, we are setting ourselves up for more joy and fulfillment not only in this life, but in the life to come.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think physical training (i.e., working out) is of great value! But I don’t want to focus so much on my physical body that I neglect my spiritual life and growth. In fact, I want spiritual growth to be my primary focus and the center of my life.

Plyometrics and Yoga – the perfect balance

Well, it’s been a few days since I wrote anything on here! I’ve had a busy week, but overall it’s been a good one. 🙂

Tuesday was a fun day! Last time A was over, she lent me a couple of her P90X DVDs so I decided to try the Plyometrics one on Tuesday afternoon. I used to do a lot more plyometrics and miss them a lot! Plyometrics are high-intensity and include lots of jumping around, explosion-like exercises…just my kind of thing! 😛 The P90X DVD was an hour long and it was INTENSE. I did a LOT of sweating and may or may not have said some nasty things to Tony Horton while we were doing yet another set of jump squats. It’s a love-hate thing for me. I love being pushed so hard in my workouts but I hate it in the moment. All of that to say, I really loved my first P90X experience! I often get distracted or bored during workout DVDs, but this one was intense and the instructor was funny (corny?) enough to keep me entertained. Win, win!

After sweating bucket-loads in my basement, I came upstairs to shower and get ready for A to come over. Tuesday morning I had been at Schnucks to check out their newly-expanded gluten-free section! It is amazing! I spent over 20 minutes geek-ing out over all the gluten-free pastas, baking mixes, cookies, flours, and other goodies. I came home with a gluten-free chocolate cake mix and decided to make cupcakes for A because she loves chocolate. 🙂 I never ended up icing the cupcakes because everyone agreed they were plenty sweet without it. So, I guess they’re technically more like chocolate muffins. 😉 Regardless of the name, they got rave reviews from A and my family!

A and I had a fun girls night, complete with facial masks, painting of the nails, and some girly chick-flicks. (of course!) We watched Last Holiday, which was such sweet movie, and an old classic: Roman Holiday! I guess we were in a holiday theme, for some reason…

Wednesday morning, A and I had a date with Bob Harper. Well, via his Yoga for Warriors DVD. 😛 My calves were TIGHT and sore from the plyometrics on Tuesday so the yoga felt amazing; hurt so good. 😉

After enjoying some delicious oatmeal for an 11am brunch, we decided to do some shopping because I needed black pumps for an interview today and A had some gift cards she was eager to use. I never really wore pumps at my previous job. Because the attire was pretty casual, I stuck to flats and wedges, which are much easier on my feet. But, I figured it was probably time to get some classic black pumps…good thing to have on hand, right?

We did some serious damage at the mall, as well as TJ Maxx! But almost everything I got was on sale or a fall staple that I will wear a lot, so that made me feel better about the $$. I got some cute shirts, leggings, black boots, black pumps, and two classy skirts! Really happy with the purchases. I hadn’t been shopping in so long because once I quit my job I decided to really cut back on spending money to be wise about it all. I haven’t even allowed myself into a mall for several months, haha!

This afternoon I did a bunch of studying for IIN and also skype-d with an out-of-town friend. I’m contemplating heading out for a swim at the gym (this morning I did my usual upper-body strength training routine) and probably relaxing with my family tonight. Rumor has it that my sis and her fiancé are coming over for dinner. 🙂

Have a great night!

P.S. Cocoa and I played “fetch” for awhile on Tuesday and I couldn’t resist taking some adorable pictures of her, playing with her ball.  😉

At a Glance

8:30am –  Roll out of bed after a somewhat restless night; drive to nearby park for a run

9:15am – Gorgeous 4.2 mile trail run in the sunshine, complete with a deer sighting!

10:15am – Delicious bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, emails, and shower

12:00pm – Walk with Cocoa around the neighborhood; lunch

1:30pm – Appt with oral surgeon about my swollen gum…He prescribed antibiotics to knock out the infection that is causing the swelling. If the infection and swelling returns, we’ll probably need to extract the wisdom tooth.

4:00pm – Took Cocoa to another local park for another walk! LOVED how much time I got to spend outside today! This fall weather is amazing. After our walk, relaxed on the grass while Cocoa sniffed around and watched the dogs walking by. 😉

5:30pm – Dinner with my fam and a movie afterward…can you guess what it was? Mission Impossible 2!  Haha! We are on an MI kick lately! Working our way through the series.  😛

Aaaand now I’m relaxing on the couch and contemplating sleep.  Yes.

Wisdom Teeth Are No Fun!

The good news is: I’m not sick, in the sense of having a cold or flu. The congestion I was feeling on Friday went away after a couple hours, but…

The bad news is: my gum is swollen and inflamed all around my bottom left wisdom tooth. It’s really bad. I’ve been in a lot of pain since Friday and it appears the wisdom tooth (teeth) will need to be pulled. I’m going to call my dentist tomorrow to have him take a look and see if that’s what needs to be done. My wisdom teeth were never pulled when I was younger because my old dentist always checked them at each visit and told me I had plenty of room for them to come in and didn’t need to have them pulled. Which was wonderful at the time, but now, not so much!

Yesterday was a rough day – I was feeling horrible all day and pretty much did nothing other than lay on the couch, watch movies, nap, and eat soft foods.  😛  By the time I went to bed last night, I was emotionally exhausted and down on myself, but hyped up because I couldn’t stop worrying about getting my wisdom teeth pulled! I couldn’t fall asleep for almost 2 hours and kept waking up throughout the night, in pain.

This morning, I finally stopped dozing in and out around 9:30 and decided I needed to get out of bed and try to make the most of my day. In spite of the pain, I felt like a run would help me feel better and the weather outside was so gorgeous! As soon as I started running, I felt better, and after a couple miles I was able to stop thinking about the pain in my gum.

As I ran, I listened to some podcasts from one of my favorite pastors/teachers, Andy Stanley. He’s the pastor of a church in Atlanta and I always keep up with his podcasts on my ipod. They’re one of my favorite things to listen to while I run or work out. On the spur of the moment, I decided to try a new route today on my run. It ended up being beautiful and I ran along so many huge mansions and estates! By the time I looped back home and did one quick lap around my street, I’d done a little over 7 miles. My legs felt strong the whole time and the pace was comfortable but not slow. I don’t know any of the exact stats because I’ve stopped running with my GPS watch lately.  Since I’m not technically training for any races right now, I’ve been focusing more on just running for enjoyment and not pressuring myself with distance and pace. I run because I love the way I feel during and after a run. I love being outside and covering miles on my own two feet. I love seeing nature while I run and discovering new routes and trails. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I finish the run, sweaty and exhausted but happy and content. 🙂

I spent the afternoon at home, mostly on my laptop. I caught up on emails and did some work for my sister’s upcoming bridal shower.  I also did some knitting, washed my sheets, folded laundry, and put clean sheets on my bed. Is it weird that I get really excited to sleep in my bed the first night after I put on clean sheets?  😛

Around 5, I decided to make some tea with my Teavana tea set! I brewed some Chocolate Mint tea and lit some votive candles for some added ambiance.


This evening I enjoyed dinner with my family and caught up with my sister and her fiancé, who just got back from a weekend in Kansas City. Then I watched the latest Mission Impossible movie with my bro.

Despite being in a lot of pain with my swollen gum, this weekend turned out to be really fun and relaxing! I’m so glad I got in a good run today and some time outside in the gorgeous fall weather.

Off to pop some Advil and hit the sack!

Quick and Easy Upper Body Workout

This morning’s workout was upper body weights, with my go-to exercises for arms, shoulders and back. When I’m at the gym, my strength training workouts are much more involved and thorough, but with the limited dumbbells I have at home, my basement workouts are much more basic.

I completed 3(sets) x 15(reps) of these exercises:

– Side shoulder raise

– Tricep dips

– Overhead press

– Bent-over, single-arm row

– Reverse Fly

– 2 minutes of abs

After enjoying a bowl of my favorite oatmeal for breakfast, I got to work on some emails and homework. And of course, did some knitting.  😉 My scarf is already about a foot long and I love it!

   I fear that I may be coming down with the cold that has been going around. My throat is sore, my head is congested, and I have very little energy today! Uh-oh! I’m supposed to go to an awesome Fall Party tonight and I was going to bring a yummy pumpkin dip…really bummed that I might miss the fun time with friends tonight!!

In the meantime, I’m going to try to rest as much as possible here at home…reading, homework, knitting, and some Netflix. 🙂


Slumber Party and My Latest (Old Lady) Hobby…

On Tuesday afternoon, my BFF “A” came over to spend the night. We had such a great time together, as we always do. We’re kindred spirits in a lot of ways: both passionate about health and fitness, runners, fun-loving, similar hobbies, and we laugh A LOT when we’re together. She is an awesome friend and one I treasure dearly.

We enjoyed a delicious dinner on the screened-in porch with my family and then popped two bowls of popcorn (I always eat a whole bowl by myself, haha) and settled in the family room for a good chick-flick. What else would you expect for a slumber party? 😉

First, we watched The Holiday, which I had never seen before. It has Jack Black, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet in it…such a cute love story and so hilarious too! After that was over, it was about 9:15 and since we knew we didn’t have to wake up early the next morning (yet another thing A and I have in common is that we are both currently unemployed, aside from part-time nannying jobs) so we decided to make it a double feature movie night. Next we watched another new-to-me movie called Bride Wars, with Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson! It was cute; kind of your typical chick-flick, but funny and entertaining nonetheless. Since I’ve been applying for jobs in the Event-Planning field lately, that part of the movie was especially interesting to me! If you’re looking for a funny and cute movie for a girls night, check it out.

We made it to bed around 11:30 and woke up around 8:30 Wednesday morning to do Power Yoga with Bob Harper! A owns the DVD and had raved about it to me before…I was so excited to try it out! I love yoga and wish I made the time to have more of it in my life. The Bob Harper DVD is 60 minutes long and kept me sweating and working hard! It is a good workout! I love his style of yoga, the way he coaches you deeper into the poses but also makes you feel comfortable if you’re a beginner (or just completely inflexible like me, haha!). I was wondering if a 60 minutes yoga DVD would be boring and looooong to me, but it kept me engaged the whole time! Definitely want to buy this one on Amazon so I can do it regularly. 😉

After our power yoga, we decided to walk to the Starbucks that is about 2 miles away from my house. This is one of my favorite walking routes because of the new (paved!) trail that was recently finished and covers almost all of the 2 mile distance. After getting our go-to iced coffees at Starbucks, we decided to check out an adorable little boutique in the same shopping center called J.A. Whitney. Their stuff is really expensive, but ADORABLE. We had a great time perusing the jewelry, monogrammed bags and notepads, Christmas ornaments, and other fun items.

My favorites:

Love it!

By the time we completed our 2 mile walk back to my house, it was almost 1pm and we had yet to get breakfast! Last time A spent the night, I made her my special oatmeal and she fell in love with it just like me. I told you I had a lot in common with this girl! haha. She requested oatmeal again this time so I made a big pot to split between us.

Here’s how I make my special oatmeal:
(for 1 person)

Pour about 1 3/4 cups water into a pan and heat until almost boiling. Add 1/2 cup oats (doesn’t matter what kind, but I think I usually use the quick cooking) but DON’T stir them right away. Let them sit and soak up some water first. While this is happening, add cinnamon and salt as desired. (for me, this means DUMPING generous amounts of both into the pot!) Then, start stirring the oats and reduce the heat to med-low. The oatmeal should start to thicken as you stir. There’s no real science to this, but I alternate between stirring and letting it sit. I often reduce the heat to low and allow it to “bubble” for a little bit. Again, the goal is to get thick, creamy oatmeal and this is how the magic happens! 😉

After the oatmeal is sufficiently creamy and aromatic (someone from my family usually comments on how good the cinnamon smells, and then I know it’s reached perfection. haha) pour it into a bowl and top with frozen blueberries. Then, place little dollops of peanut butter (I used creamy, unsalted, from Trader Joe’s) around the edge of the oatmeal – but again, don’t stir the peanut butter into the oats! Let it sit on the surface while the oatmeal cools; this is key! After the oatmeal has cooled for a minute or two, start slowly stirring the peanut butter and witness the wonderfulness that is taking place! 😀 YUMMM…now I am craving oatmeal!

Anyway, Wednesday afternoon, after A left, I spent the afternoon doing some emailing, watching some Netflix, and painting my nails a pretty new color. It’s a smoky grey/blue color that I love! I’m not doing so great at the whole “take pictures of everything I do” part of this blogging thing. Oops.

Wednesday evening I was supposed to go out for coffee with my sis but she got in a car accident on the way home from work so we had to reschedule! She is ok but her car isn’t. It’s going to need some body work done. So thankful she is alright, though! Instead, C (my boyfriend, haha) came over and he did homework while I applied for (event-planning) jobs online! Praying that something comes through in that field! We’ll see!

THEN, my most favorite part of the evening, I mentioned to C that I wanted to start knitting again (call me an old lady – I already love going to bed at 9pm, haha!) and he suggested we go to Michaels right then and there to get yarn and needles! Um, yes?! We took off on our little adventure and came home with a beautiful ball of forest green yarn and shiny, metal size 15 needles! My first project is going to be a scarf for C because I love knitting scarves – they are straight and simple and very difficult to mess up. (Although I have managed to do it before.) One of the main reasons I decided to take up knitting again is because I’ve noticed lately how antsy I get when I’m watching a movie at home or listening to a lecture for IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition; I’m studying to be a Certified Health Coach)…I always want to have something to do with my hands while I watch/listen! I’ve tried painting my nails, but one can only do that so many times in a day. 😛 I think knitting will be the perfect solution to this because it’s relatively mindless (at least when you’re knitting a scarf) and yet somehow theurupetic. I started on my scarf this morning and it’s already about 9 inches long! Woot! (BONUS: so far it is also relatively straight! haha!)

So, that was my Tuesday and Wednesday! Now it’s Thursday afternoon, and I just finished a coffee date with a friend at Kaldis, where I’m sitting now as I type this post. I’m off to see a movie with friends and whatever else the evening holds!

A Killer Leg Workout…and a Bridal Shower

When it comes to bedtimes, my ideal is lights-out around 10pm. I know, I’m like a grandma! haha. I’ve always been more of an early to bed, early to rise, kind of person. Even in my “prime” (read: high school) I was almost always in bed by 11. I thrive on waking up early; the morning is my favorite time of day. It’s so peaceful and quiet.

All of that was basically just an introduction to the fact that I got to bed later than I would have liked last night. 😛 Hence, I woke up later than usual…around 8:30. I know that might sound rather early for a Saturday morning, but my normal wake-up time on a Saturday is 7 or 7:30 because I find it impossible to sleep much later. I’d been planning for several days to do a leg workout this morning because I’ve really gotten out of the habit lately. Running has taken the place of lower-body strength training for me the past few weeks. I do love the increased running mileage, but I miss the strength training! Running is something I do because I LOVE it…weight training is more a discipline and necessary part of my routine. I know strength training is good for me and I know it helps build muscle/burn fat so I try to lift weights at least 2 or 3 times a week. I have no problem staying on track with upper body weight lifting because I love that and also see results more quickly, for some reason. But with the lower body, I’m always more inclined to go for a run than to bust out the lunges and squats.

Today was the day that lower-body strength training reappeared in my life, though. As soon as I woke up, I grabbed a pen and paper and lay in bed, designing a leg workout that would give me a good burn. I feel like weight lifting is useless if it doesn’t make ya at least a little bit sore. 😉 With my paper in hand, I made my way down to the basement to knock out this workout:

15 Bulgarian Split Squats (each leg)

15 Front Squats (holding 30lb bar)

15 Hamstring Curls with Swill Ball (one leg at a time)

60 Seconds Abs (any abs exercise of my choice)


15 Bulgarian Squats (each leg)

15 Back Squats (holding 30lb bar)

15 Hamstring Curls with Swiss Ball (one leg at a time)

60 Seconds Abs


15 Lunges, Holding 10lb Weights in Each Hand (15 lunges each leg)

15 One-Legged Squats (each leg)

15 Hamstring Curls with Swiss Ball (one leg at a time)

60 Seconds Mountain Climbers


15 Lunges, Holding 10lb Weights in Each Hand (15 lunges each leg)

15 One-Legged Squats (each leg)

15 Hamstring Curls with Swiss Ball (one leg at a time)

60 Seconds Mountain Climbers


15 Plie Squats, Holding 30lb Weight

15 Single Leg Deadlifts (each leg)

15 Plie Squats, Holding 30lb Weight

15 Single Leg Deadlifts (each leg)

60 Seconds Abs


Whew, my legs were on FIRE after this! I was somewhat disappointed by that because I can tell my legs have lost strength over the past month since I haven’t been strength training them! A lot of the weight amounts I used today were far below where I used to be at, which is frustrating. BUT at least I’m getting back into the strength training now, and hopefully it won’t take too long to get back to where I was at!

Moving along, after my awesome leg workout, I enjoyed a delicious bowl of oatmeal with the usual fixings: frozen blueberries and peanut butter, and an insane amount of sea salt. For some reason, I love my oatmeal really salty. It never TASTES salty to me, though. But I put a ton of salt on it. And cinnamon. YUM.

We were off to my aunt’s house for the 12pm shower luncheon. It was such a blast! I don’t yet have pics from the afternoon because my aunt has yet to email them to us, but here’s one I took on my phone of my outfit for the day:

Laura really enjoyed herself, which was the most important thing! And I really enjoyed catching up with all these homeschool moms that I hadn’t talked to in forever! They are all so sweet; I felt so accepted and loved the whole afternoon. Not that it’s about me, but lately I’ve felt so distant and out of place in a lot of the crowds I hang out with, so it was really refreshing to feel like these ladies truly cared about me and how I’m doing. Such a blessing!

I played the “maid of honor role” when it was time for gifts, jotting down the name that corresponded with each gift to make thank you notes simpler for Laura. She got a lot of great stuff from her registry! I always love going to bridal showers where the bride is registered at Bed, Bath and Beyond because the boxes and bags all have that deep purple that is signature of B, B & B. Gorgeous!

Saturday night, I was supposed to go to an engagement party for two of my friends, but I was exhausted from the bridal shower and not feeling that great so I decided to stay home instead. I felt horrible (as I always seem to when I miss social events!) about not going, but at the same time, I was glad I stayed home. It was a nice relaxing evening instead, reading, writing, and eating huge bowls of frozen blueberries until my lips turned blue. (That’s not a joke – they really do turn blue from the blueberry juice) 😉

Hello World…anyone?

Well, I finally did it – I started a blog! I’ve been hemming and hawing about this for awhile now. I love to write, even though I’m not very good at it, per se. Writing is so therapeutic for me, though..which I suppose is a selfish reason to blog. Haha. I’ve kept a journal for years, sometimes more faithfully than others, but lately I’ve taken to my iPad to write, simply because I can type faster than I can write and my hand doesn’t get so cramped. 😛  I finally decided to just go ahead and start a WordPress blog so I’ll have once central place to compile my thoughts, ramblings and opinions.

I have no idea what this will become – and I don’t really have specific goals for it at this point. I do know that I want to have somewhere to write about my thoughts and musings and to journal the everyday happenings of my life. And I also know that I love to write and the more I write, the better I will become at writing (hopefully). That’s the idea, anyway!

For a first post, I think this one has gone on quite long enough…

Adios! 🙂