Welcome to my blog!

I am Buffy, I live in Iowa with my kitty cat Meowshine and stay rather busy trying to be healthy, eating right, working out, working my full-time job and running my own custom jewelry business on the side. Thanks for coming along for the ride :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Turning whining into being thankful

After all my whining this past week, I have come to the conclusion that the person I want to be and who I am are still two different people. But at the same time I know I am human, I will mess up and I will slip. What matters is that I am trying to make me a better version of myself. I will keep picking myself back up and keep trying. I’m the only one who can stop me and I refuse to do that.

For quite a while one of the changes I wanted to make was focusing on the positive. I noticed that a lot of times I would find the bad in things so much quicker then I would ever find the good. So I am refocusing in on that. A natural way for me to do this is ask myself what I am thankful for today.

Today I am thankful for my strong legs.
While I thought they were much stronger, this week has shone me maybe not as much as I thought. But I know that with all this running and biking that they will keep getting stronger and I appreciate all that they do. After a hard bike up that dang hill I have to travel twice everyday for school, I appreciate all the hard work it took and that they don’t give up on me. When the burning and shaking starts, I just tell them ‘A little bit further. You are almost there’. On my long runs and they ache and hurt, I tell them just keep going and they never let me down. They don’t give up on me and I promise I won’t give up on them.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to school for this girl!

Well day two of school is done and I am pretty excited about the courses I am taking. I am definitely nervous and a bit worried about it all but I know I can do it. I’m still scared and seeing just a list of all the things I have to do for 4 classes is a bit much to take in but I know it will all be fine. But classes, work full time, training for the half marathon, my normal working out schedule, and still trying to have some what of a social life? Deep breaths!

So my classes are ‘Developmental Psych’, ‘Personal and Family Finance, ‘Housing & Services for Family & Children’ and ‘Children, Families & Public Policy’. I wasn’t so sure about all of these but I knew a few of them would be interesting, primarily the Psych and Finance class. But now hearing what the classes will entail and what we will learn I can really see all of them being really beneficial to me and am much more interested in them. Like I said earlier I am a bit worried about fitting every thing in but I think I will be just fine. I just keep telling myself that :)

The big thing I keep reminding myself is that things have to change and sometimes the changes will be hard. I may have to do things I don’t really want to do (like get up super early to get my workout in). Or not watch my favorite show and do school readings instead. But what is going to matter at the end of all this is I am going to come out a better person and be able to get a job in a field I think I will really love. I think I just have to get into the swing of things and I will feel a lot less apprehensive about it.

Had Zumba last night, which was great. I can’t say that I love the new songs but I think they will grow on me. There is a lot of butt shaking which I like so once I get used to the songs I will be all good :) Tonight I think will be a rest day for me because I am running with the running partner tomorrow night and need to make sure I have all my readings done for classes on Thursday (which means I would do them tonight instead). Saturday we have an 8 mile run which we are going to do early so that we get it done and out of the heat. Of course I have some Yoga planned and some ST.

I think over all so far the week is going well and my plans are getting worked out. I forgot my snacks on Monday to bring for today so I had to resort to my drawer (microwavable popcorn) so tomorrow I will make sure to bring my snacks for tomorrow and Thursday. I missed my fruit and cheese! I also need to get some sort of portable snack for Tues and Thurs because between my first and second class my tummy was grumbling. I hoped no one could hear it! If I thought ahead I could have at least brought a banana or apple. But now I know.

I hope everyone is having a great week so far! There is a cool down here in Iowa, which we are really excited about. Course it is coming back for this weekend but at least we get a few days of nice.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Running and Bats

My God what a night I had last night!

Went out to this nice park and ran 5 miles. Used my Garmin Forerunner for the first time and it was AWESOME. The park has these trails that go around the large pond (or not sure you would consider it a small lake either) Some of the trails were still closed due to the flooding last week so I went around this one twice (each time about 2.5-3 miles). It was a bit stinky and buggy because of the flooding and had rained most of the day, but over all it was a pretty good run. I was trying to work on my tempo and speeding it up a bit which I think I was doing alright with. Most of the time when I looked at the Forerunner it said my pace was around 10-11 min a mile and my fastest pace was 8:30 some. I’m sure I didn’t run that very long but I was going that fast at some point. One thing I still wonder about though is with the calorie burn. My polar F4 HRM (heart rate monitor) usually has me burning 800 plus (sometimes over 1000) during a 5 mile run. The forerunner had me at 500 calories. While the HRM goes off my heart rate to get the calorie burn, the forerunner goes off how far and fast you go. So I wonder which one is more accurate.

Then there was the bats. It was very nice last night, and we opened up some windows to let some fresh air in. All of a sudden the cat takes off towards the kitchen and I figure he heard a sound out the window. I go in to see what he is doing and I hear a rustling noise toward the window. I’m thinking someone is on the back porch (which is scary enough) but then I look down toward the bottom of the window and there is a bat sprawled out on the floor under the trash can (we have one of those contraptions that it is actually attached to the cabinet but you can pull it out. It was pulled out at the time). I run for my phone to call the hubby who was out with friends playing pool. Then I hear the thing start to squeal. I figure the cat got it and was nawing on it. I yell for him to keep in the kitchen. He likes to show you what he caught for you, and I do realize he can’t really understand me but I was slightly panicking. Then the thing flies into the living room where I was and I take off running up stairs. All the while calling the hubby to get his @ss home to save us. I was shaking and freaked out and sooooo scared. He came home, caught it and released it outside. Apparently after I had gone to bed another bat was flying around and he got that one too. Now the cat has to go to the vet and get a booster rabies shot, just in case. A super creepy end to the evening.

Thankfully I have Zumba tonight! I am convinced there are bats everywhere in my house and are going to attack me and give me rabies. I think it might be time to call professional bat people because I am not sure I can live at that house much longer. While I love animals and believe they have a right to live, not bats in my house. And I don't need to be taking my cat to the vet every time he catches one. He is a very good hunter and is very pleased with all the catches he has had lately. He likes to play with them or partially eat them and then bring them to you. No thanks boo boo. You can keep your kills to yourself!

Monday, August 16, 2010

New and better week? I sure hope so!

Last week was bad. Not just bad for eating and working out, but bad with life in general. It could have been worse but the bad was definitely inescapable. The town I live flooded (including my basement), our water towers were drained and contaminated through multiple water main breaks, it was 110 with the heat indexes, and half the town had to shut down (due to dirty water or was flooded). The last thing I needed to worry was eating well and working out, but it entered my mind quite a bit. Without clean water, we had to figure out what to eat that didn’t involve a ton of dishes, couldn’t shower (for two days we were told not to and then I got a mole removed so I couldn’t for 2 days anyways, especially with the water conditions). It was especially hard to not be able to work out since it really has become my way of relieving stress and dealing with things.

But I guess there were a few good things about last week. The running partner and I did 7 miles on Saturday which I was pretty proud of. I’ve never gone that far before! I was more excited to take a clean shower (she lives 30 min from where I live, so plenty of clean water!). I could definitely tell that I hadn’t worked out like I normally would have, but it was over all a good run. It also didn’t rain like it was supposed to on Friday and no rain in the forecast so hopefully the rivers can really go down and we can be ok for a while. Course now the clean up begins. And to be able to help my town out in its time of need really makes me feel good. It was a lot of crazy to deal with, but now that it is all over with I can feel good about the part I played in it all.

But last week is now in the past (thankfully!) and I am ready for a great week.
This week Ames Park and Rec are having free drop in classes (well technically a can of food or two) and I am excited to try out a few new classes. I am debating tonight’s class though. Zumba or Kettlebell blast. Tomorrow I am going to try Med Ball Madness and I am thinking I might want to do Zumba because I would be less sore for the Med Ball class tomorrow. Then Wednesday I am going to do Zumba again. Which of course makes me a very happy girl. I am going to squeeze some runs in too. On the schedule for the weekend is another 7 mile run. I am interested to see how I feel after that one. Since I know I will much more prepared and already have one under my belt.

This weekend I am throwing my sister a baby shower and have to finish getting all my ducks in a row for going back to school. I start next Monday and I am so excited. Scared but so excited. I have some odds and ends to finish for the shower. I have a much longer list of things to do to get ready for school. Since last week completely got away from me, I need to squeeze most of it in this week. Plus the night workouts, it's going to be a very busy week!

So here is to an excellent week and getting everything on my to do list done :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekend update and plan for week 4

Happy Monday! Ok maybe not really, but I can pretend can’t I? We had some pretty bad storms roll through last night, which made it hard to sleep but here I am. I even woke up early for my workout so I am pretty proud of that. Tried out Biggest Loser Bootcamp and I liked it. It is much like the other Biggest Loser DVD’s, came in 5 sections-warm up, section 1,2, and 3 and cool down/stretch. I did the warm up,1, 2 and the stretch. We’ll see how bad I hurt tomorrow because of it :)

Weekend recap…

It was another wedding weekend but this time we were in the wedding (him usher, me guest book attendant) Friday I had a half day at work, and did a new yoga DVD I found on Netflix when I got off. It was alright but I still like Biggest Loser’s Yoga the most. I have Jillian’s Yoga Meltdown in the queue so hopefully that will come soon and I can’t wait to give it a go. I guess I am just picky when it comes to my yoga. Anywho after yoga I did some Zumba. I found some videos on youtube (thanks to Julie for the idea). Just go to youtube and enter Zumba and it brings up a ton of clips. The best ones are from this studio in NC. Then later in the afternoon we were off to the rehearsal dinner and then to help set up the Reception area. We called it an early night since I had to be up at 6am for the 5k.

6am came waaaay too early but I drug my sleepy but out of bed and got ready to go. I had to travel 30 min to my running partner’s house near where the 5k was being held, which was at 7:30am. I was warned that the route was very hilly but I wasn’t really prepared for it. I thought I was but I wasn’t. It was great though and once you made your way though the hills and through the corn field and finished I couldn’t help but be proud. The 5ks I have run in the past are in an area I am very familiar with and have run many times. They have a large hill but nothing compared to the series of hills that this one had. And we had a better time then the last 5k we ran (34:30ish, last time 35:20ish) so I was a happy girl. Tired but happy. They also had breakfast and door prizes so we stuck around for that. I won a pair of tickets to the comedy club. That should be a fun date night for me and the hubby.

Then was time to get ready for the wedding. Came early and tended the guest book. Everyone looked great! The bride was so beautiful and the couple’s so in love. It was awesome. The reception was a lot of fun and the food was awesome! I ate what looked good but tried to not eat too much. The cake was amazing but I got a really large slice and ate most of it. But I danced and danced a lot, so hopefully that helped burn some of it off. I even busted out some Zumba moves. I think the beer helped me be brave enough to do it but it was a lot of fun :)

Over all it was such an awesome fun filled weekend.

As for this week. I am a little sad that I have no Zumba classes this week. It is in between sessions and they are redoing the gym floor so no classes for me. They are having free outdoor bootcamp classes so hopefully I can make it to some of those. Tuesday is going to be hot so we will see how hot if I will go or not. I guess after Wednesday it is supposed to cool down some. Maybe Thursday then, but I have a doctor’s appointment to get a mole removed and I guess they have to cut it out and I am supposed to keep it dry. It is on the middle of my back so I know that would restrain me from doing the ab workout at the end but I could probably do most of the other stuff if the doctor says it is ok. So I guess we’ll see.

This week on the running schedule we have a 6 mile run during the week and a 7 mile run this weekend. Since I don’t have Zumba I might try and squeeze in an additional run sometime this week. The other ones that are on our schedule are 3 or 4 mile runs and I usually skip them since between Zumba and Bootcamp I get enough cardio/running between them. So I think I will try for at least one 3 mile run this week. Other then that it is the first time we don’t have a bunch of stuff going on. Which is weird but good. I know with school starting up in a few weeks it is about to get crazy so I will take the lull. I do have a list of things I hope to get done with my ‘down’ time so we will see how much I can get done.

I hope you all are having a good Monday, and a great start to an awesome week :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Recipe to use up abundance of tomatoes

On a quest to eat my massive surplus of tomatoes in different ways, I made this last night…

This was the original recipe…

I didn’t have a lot of large tomatoes so I couldn’t actually stuff the tomatoes. Basically what I did was took two cups of brown rice and prepared as instructed on the box. I did add a packet of Lipton onion soup mix to add flavor to the rice. I did not add any other spices to the recipe besides the soup mix.

Then I cooked up three chicken breasts and an onion on the stove. Towards the end I added about a tablespoon of garlic and cooked it through. Then I chopped up 3 large tomatoes and 6 or so roma size tomatoes, basically enough that I thought equaled 6 large tomatoes. Then when the chicken was done I layered in a 9x13 pan the rice, then tomatoes, the chicken onion mix and then added about ½ cup of 2% Colby jack cheese. Put it in the oven for 20 min at 400 degrees. Next time I might try layering it differently…rice, chicken onion mix, tomatoes and cheese. The chicken was a little dried out in places and I am not sure if that was because my chicken was over cooked on the stove or if because it was a bit freezer burned it was dry.

Over all it was pretty good. I might try some other spices too, but not sure what else to add. Maybe some parsley, basil, paprika…I’m not so good with the spices but those are the kinds I normally like. I think I made the original recipe last year and it was good from what I remembered, but I don’t know if I made any tweaks to the version I made.
It was pretty simple to make and didn't take a whole lot of time since I made it with minute rice. You could easily adapt to what you like and I was able to use ingredients I had without having to make a trip to the store. The onion soup gave it a great flavor but I think it could be even better with some more spices. Even as is I would definitely make again.

Thought I would share in case anyone was looking for a yummy way of using up some tomatoes with some pretty common ingredients you might have in your cupboards. If you try it out let me know what you think!

Happy Friday and hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rest of this week...

Seems like time is flying by! This month has so much going on. Between getting ready to go back to school, a wedding the hubby and I are in, training for the half marathon, planning my sister’s baby shower, and all my normal stuff, I am a busy little thing. Ok so this week (or rather what is left of it) I have a few things I am focused on more specifically on: the wedding we are in, a 5k on Saturday morning, and tomatoes.

Seems kinda random? I have started to compile a list of things I need to address this month, but right now with this week I needed to focus in on what needs done right now. That and my run tonight with Sara. Hopefully the storms hold off or come early so we can have a nice run.

So for the wedding I have tried to make my husband help with things he can handle but normally I would do and worry about. He is an usher and I am a guestbook attendant. I had him get the RSVP in for the rehearsal dinner and he will need to figure out what time he needs to be there for pictures and what not. Since my roll is pretty minor I have offered to help the bride any way I can. Help with programs, pick up tuxes, whatever she needs. I have no definite duties right now other then guestbook but whatever she needs I told her I can help with. I have her gift taken care of, I made her jewelry for her bridesmaids. She wanted to pay me but I wanted to give them to her as a gift. Less hassle that way and now one less thing I need to worry about. Most of the other plans are nailed down so only a few things left to figure out. Which makes me happy :)

The 5k is in State Center Iowa on Saturday morning. It is for an awesome cause. My running partner Sara lives there and told me about it. So I am running with her, a friend of hers and her I am really interested in seeing how our running is doing and if it will decrease our 5k time. Guess we’ll see.

And then there are the tomatoes. As some of you home gardeners or general lover of tomatoes know, it is prime tomato season. The hubby picked the ready ones last night and man do we have lots. Which is great because I LOVE them. Just wondering if anyone has some favorite tomato recipes they want to share? I’m hoping to try out some that I have saved and report back about how yummy they are! And I would love to try any suggestions anyone has that look tasty to me. That and cucumbers. Any for cucumbers would be great too.

Then on Sunday I can re-prioritize what I need to address for next week. Until then I am going to let the other stuff go and just focus on the now.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Week 3...

Really, already week 3?
Last week went fairly well. Had another 5 mile run on Wednesday with Sara and a 6 mile run on Saturday. Still seems crazy that I can go that far. On Saturday’s run, I ran for a longer amount of time then I did when I ran with Sara (run two, walk one). In the beginning I would try and stick to run two walk one but my calves were giving me some major issues. I think I was dehydrated from drinking the night before. When I got up I ate an english muffin and some yogurt spread, and in the hour and some odd minutes before I ran, I drank at least 16 oz of water. I also took a water bottle with me so I could continue to drink water throughout. But my calves hurt pretty bad for the first mile or so. For a while I tried to run through it but that was not working and really only made it worse. Finally I decided to take it slower and that seemed to help. After that I was ok to run for longer and longer. My basic plan was to run for as long as I possibly could and then would walk for a little bit and then back at it. Overall it was a good run. Lesson learned though that I shouldn’t drink very much the night before a long run :) Not that I drank a lot but I will definitely scale back if I do chose to drink at all. And maybe even end the night with a big tall glass of water, just for good measure. I just don’t want a little bit of fun the night before, to interfere with my run the next day.
I was having some issues with my hamstring, up where it meets my butt. I noticed it with about 2 miles left but have had issues with it being sore before. It was really sore all day on Saturday (even with icing it) and I haven’t had it hurt that badly for that long before. But on Sunday and today I haven’t felt any pain at all so it could be just the fact I ran that far and that long that it didn’t like it so much. It’s probably gotta get used to it :)
Hmmm what else training related? I didn’t get my yoga in last week, which makes me sad but I know this next week I will get it in. I let it slide on Friday morning like I had planned and was in no condition to do it Sunday. No excuses this week though. If I have time I might even try and get two different sessions in this week. I know I will be busy though since we have a wedding this weekend that we are in and getting all that stuff ready AND getting ready for back to school.

The last week has been a huge emotional roller coaster. Since deciding to go back to school and registering and telling my boss and all of that stuff, I was pretty drained. Excited but drained. I can’t help but wonder how I will pull it all off and workout with the intensity that I have become accustomed to and all that but I am ready for the challenge. I know that life is going to be much more difficult for the next two years and I will need to make some pretty big changes but I know it will all be good. I am paying for school out of my own pocket and I know that I won’t have any money left over for the fun stuff but I am ok with that too. I know I am investing my money into something that will get me a job and life I can really appreciate and its about time I take the leap and do it. Plus all my money was going to student loans from round one and now that those are going to be put on deferment I can just use that money toward my current classes. Well I still am going to pay the interest for the old loans but that won’t be much money a month so I can swing that. I think I am just trying to wrap my mind around it all. I am still so super excited about it all but I am trying now to deal with all the changes that I know is going to happen when I am in school. I know that I have my priorities and working out and being healthy is still really high on the list. But I also know that it can’t be as high as it was and that kind of scares me. I guess I am trying to sort it all out in my brain. I do have to say a major plus to going back to school is now I will have access to the fitness center.

It was brought to my attention that I didn’t have the link attached to my last post for what I am going back to school for so I am including it in this one. Sorry about that :)