Friday, March 29, 2013

Health and Fitness Friday!

It's time again for another Health & Fitness Friday, the last one of March!  I really hope the weather starts to improve soon because I am getting rid of my gym membership in a few weeks.  We always join the gym in November and only stay through April, because Mark and I both know we won't go in the summer when we would rather run outside!  

So, let's talk fitness!  Here is my training schedule this week:

Mon- 3 miles Complete!
Tues- 4 miles Complete!
Wed- 3 miles + yoga Complete!
Thurs- Cross Walked the dog 2.5 miles...complete!
Friday- 8 miles Heading to the gym to do that in a few minutes!  
Sat- Yoga Will probably go for a recovery jog tomorrow morning instead since we'll be out of town.
Sun- cross Most likely resting and eating!

I'm not going to lie, I am nervous for my long run today.  Just like I always am!  I skipped it last week because I was too busy with work, so of course my confidence is down.  

As far as health goes, this week's healthy eating plan has been pretty good!  We are trying to save some money for our upcoming trip (3 weeks!!!) so I've been trying to cut back on the grocery bill.  Consequently, we've been eating lots of sandwiches/salads for dinner, which is something I can feel good about!  On the other hand, I've eaten almost 2 large bags of jellybeans in the last week.  AND with the upcoming holiday, I know things are about to go downhill.  I always overdo it on holidays, especially when we visit my in-laws- there are just too many treats around!  Including the raspberry white chocolate cheesecake I'm bringing.  Calories don't count on holidays, right?  Right.  Ok good.  I'll post that recipe soon!

Happy Easter everyone, have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gone Girl Review

SPOILER ALERT: If you plan on reading this book, but haven't yet, don't read this!  Also, don't read it if you're currently reading it but haven't finished!

I finally finished Gone Girl earlier this week and I have to say that I've got some mixed feelings.  I was LOVING it right up until the end.  I thought the first 2/3 of the book were absolutely captivating and I was totally into it.  As the end neared though, I started to worry about how it was going to end.

The story is basically about a wife who goes missing and the husband is the main suspect.  It is told from both the perspectives of Amy (the wife) and Nick (the husband.)  Nick maintains his innocence, even though it looks really bad for him.  A huge twist happens when Amy reveals that she is framing him and that she faked her own disappearance/murder.  She does this to get back at him for having an affair and a thousand other little reasons about him that annoy her.  She eventually runs into trouble with her plan and decides to return home, claiming that a man from her past kidnapped her.

I started to get the feeling around the time Amy began to talk about going home that she would return and use her fame to solve their financial trouble.  Of course, I really wanted her to get caught and exposed for what she was,  and I was disappointed that she got away with it all.  I really wanted Nick to stand up for himself and find a way to "win" their war, but he couldn't find a way- or a spine.

In the end though, I guess they deserved each other.  I'd love to know what happens in their future and what happens to their baby.

I've read some mixed reviews of this ending, and I guess I'm still trying to decided how I really feel about it.  Did you read this?  What did you think of it?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thoughts on Beth Moore

I mentioned earlier that I am currently doing this Beth Moore Bible study with a group of 4 girls.  It's a 10 week study, and we are now halfway through.  I've done Bible studies before, but nothing like this.  This is much more in-depth than anything I've ever tried.  There are 5 days worth of "homework" each week and an hour long video that we all watch together on Monday nights.  I feel like I need to write something about it just to organize my thoughts!

This is a study of the Old Testament Tabernacle.  What is that you ask?  Good question, I had no idea either.  Apparently God told Moses the exact plans of how to construct a place that God would dwell in on Earth. WITH HIM.  Maybe that was common knowledge- I don't know, but I was unaware.  So far, the study has been like a very in-depth  history lesson of the Old Testament.  The next 5 weeks will tie together the Old Testament Tabernacle with Jesus Christ in the New Testament.  (Side note- the History channel is running a series called "The Bible" that is pretty much following our study, good timing right?)

Beth Moore does an incredible job weaving together scripture from all over the Bible to demonstrate these common themes that seem to run through the book from beginning to end.  I feel like I am jumping ALL over the place when I do my homework, but at the end I always have that "aha!" moment.

I wish I could record all my thoughts on this, but I will just tell you about a few of my favorite moments so far:

In week 2, Beth is still leading us through a lot of background history is Genesis and Exodus.  We read about how God actually provided bread for the starving people who doubted him.  Actually made it rain bread.  Then Beth jumps to John 6:32-35, which happens to be the words of my favorite hymn "I am the bread of life, he who comes to me shall not hunger..." and now I see those words in a completely different way.  You need to read the study to get the full effect, but it is really so cool!

Another favorite moment is in week 4 as we read about what surrounded the tabernacle.  Several tribes of people, thousands and thousands of people, surrounded the tabernacle.  Psalm 84 was written to be sung by a tribe of people who were descendants of the Levites, who surrounded the tabernacle.  The words say "better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere..." and Beth uses this message to help us realize that even one day of living the life God intended for you would be better that a thousand of someone else's life.  This message was particularly meaningful to me because one of my largest downfalls is comparing myself to other people and sometimes wishing I had what they had.

I am excited to continue with this study and see where it goes.  Do any of you have any favorite Beth Moore studies?  I'd love to have another one to recommend to my group!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A very special anniversary

Other than the fact that I worked all weekend and really have nothing to recap, we did celebrate a very important anniversary around here!  We brought our sweet puppy home with us a year ago from yesterday, March 24th!  Everyone loves puppy pictures, so I'm sharing a few of him growing up into the 80 pound lap dog that he is! Here is our baby boy, Shay! Fyi, we know Shay is usually a female name these days- he was named after Ryan Shay, Mark's favorite athlete.

Bringing our boy home!

 Our first night with him

Such a sweet puppy!

Already a runner!

Playing piano with dad!

He loves his tennis ball.

Getting so big!

Just catching up on some reading.

So grown up now.

Still wants his tennis ball!

He can be a little mischievous!

"I turned 1 in January and got to eat an entire cupcake!  I have the best parents ever!!"

We love you Shay!

And how about a little inspiration for Monday too? Link up with Rachel!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Onion Pie with Jarlsberg and Thyme

Spring has supposedly sprung.  Not around this neck of the woods, which I am pretty bitter about, but that doesn't mean I can't still try out some new spring recipes and pretend that the snow has melted and I'm wearing short sleeves and sandals.  Here is one that I tried out last night:

I've always been interested in Scandinavian food, so I was really excited when I got this great Norwegian cookbook for Christmas:

After browsing through it a few times, I finally decided on making a recipe for onion pie with Jarlsberg and thyme.

I talked yesterday about not eating much dairy- but I have a weakness for Jarlsberg.  Definitely one of my favorite types of cheese!  This recipe was super easy!  I adapted it a little bit, so for my version, you'll need:

2 red onions cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 minced garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
7 peppercorns
3 whole cloves
2 tbsp of butter (I used smart balance.)
1 sheet of puff pastry
2 tbsp fresh thyme
1 cup shredded Jarlsberg

All you need to do is put the puff pastry in a baking dish, I used a 8x13 Le Creuset.  Sauté the onions and garlic in the butter over low-medium heat.  Add the peppercorns, bay leaf, and cloves and cook until the onions are soft and turning translucent.

 Remove peppercorns, bay leaf, and cloves.  Add salt to taste. Pour onions and garlic into the puff pastry, top with all of the cheese and half of the thyme.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes or until turning brown.  Top with the remaining thyme.

Mine didn't turn out quite as pretty as the picture in the cookbook, but it still made us do this:

 photo tumblr_m7jozzPARU1qmoxb9_zps7f7d0858.gif

Link up with the ladies below and share your favorite spring recipes!

Life, Love and Puppy Prints

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Remember when I was vegan?

Oh wait, you probably don't.  Because we didn't "know"each other then.  Unless you read my old blog, which I sort of doubt.  But yes, it is true, I used to be vegan and remained completely animal-food-product-free for a couple years.  And yes, it's also true that I'm no longer vegan.  I'm not even vegetarian actually, though I pretty much eat vegetarian 80% of the time.

The reason I'm telling you this is because I've been having myself a nice little pity party all week long about my health.  If you read Kelly's blog, then you know that she's opened up about some health frustrations she's dealing with, and she gave me the little nudge I needed to open up.  I should also mention that this has been a particularly crappy and painful past week for me regarding my health problem.  I don't want to go into all of it right now, but I wanted to talk a little bit about my experience being vegan.

That being said, this is a post about a personal health issue.  If you don't want to read it, just move on.  I'm writing this for myself, but I'm also writing this because I know more of you out there deal with really frustrating and even embarrassing health problems, and I hope my story could help someone somewhere.

I've had a serious disorder of my GI tract for almost five years now.  The nerves and muscles in my GI tract, the ones that are supposed move things along during digestion, do not work properly in my body.  I've been to see dozens of specialists and even spent 2 weeks in Rochester undergoing intensive treatment at Mayo Clinic (which happened to fall right over my 25th birthday, thank you very much.) After none of the traditional stuff worked, I decided to try a vegan diet after being told that it might help, and I went to a holistic medicine doctor.  She did a really extensive blood workup and tested me for food allergies. My hormones levels were completely crazy and I was allergic to everything.  So I started taking tons of supplements and eliminated even more foods from my diet.  It sucked.  But what sucked even more is that it did nothing to help me. NOTHING.  So I started to eat things I was supposedly "allergic" to again, like yeast, gluten, random spices, garlic, several fruits and veggies...etc.  I did some research, and the allergy test I had done measured "histamine response" to certain foods, and apparently is pretty controversial.  I came to my own conclusion that it wasn't worth avoiding all these foods if they don't have any impact on how I feel, whether good or bad.  Right now, the only food I limit are dairy and fried foods, which I do still eat in smaller quantities.

Fast forward down the road a bit and the vegan diet also started to fail me. I felt like total crap most of the time.  I felt pretty good for the first 8 or 9 months, but things quickly went downhill after that.  I was totally fatigued all the time and had constant pain in my abdomen.

After a routine physical one day, my doctor called me in a panic.  She said that my iron level was so low that she was considering having me come back for a blood transfusion.  I was anemic before becoming vegan, but thought I would be able to keep my iron level in check, but I can't take iron supplements due to my GI system.  My doctor told me that I really HAD to start eating red meat, and she wanted me to eat it 3 times per day!  At this time, the vegan diet wasn't helping me anymore anyways, so I decided to give it up and just follow my physicians instructions.

It is because of my time being vegan, gluten free, yeast free...etc.  AND the fact that I work in the world of eating disorders now that I have such strong opinions about food.  But I want to make this clear- I have strong opinions about what I eat, not what you eat. (Unless you're my patient, then I have to make it my business.)  If a certain diet works for you, by all means stick with it.

I have a lot more to say about my health, but I will save it for another time.  I've gone through 3 surgeries in the last year for this particular condition and it would make for way too long of a post to go into that now.  In case you're wondering though, it is still playing a major role in my everyday life.  I've been prescribed all of these medications to deal with various aspects of it:

Ok, pity party over.  Hope that was somewhat informative.  I do have to say that it's nice to talk about this, I've told my husband many times that I feel like I live a secret double life sometimes because its hard to talk about.  So thanks for reading, lovely readers!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Gone Girl Casting

I've become completely consumed by Gone Girl.  I'm not done yet, I've got about 1/3 of the book left and I am DYING to know what happens!  (I'm actually listening to it on audiobook while I run, which is the first time I've tried doing that.  I would recommend it, by the way.)  I know a movie is going to be made of it, and I can't stop picturing the cast in my mind while I listen.  I've heard that Reese Witherspoon is producing it but not necessarily starring as Amy.  Is that what you've heard too?  I wouldn't be opposed to her playing Amy, but here are my first picks:

Amy Adams.  I LOVE her! She is versatile and I think could play the "Good Amy" and "Real Amy" roles well.  I picture her with blonde hair for this role.

Charlize Theron.  I think she has the perfect look for this role and can definitely be versatile also.

Ok.  Now for Nick.  He needs to be good-looking and all-American.  Here are my favorites for this role:
Bradley Cooper.  Everyone loves him, right?  Can't really go wrong with him.

Jake Gyllenhaal.  It's no secret that he's incredibly good looking and I also think he's a great actor.  And how cool would it be if his real-life sister played his on-screen sister.

That brings me to Go, Nick's sister.

Maggie Gyllenhaal.  I really love her, she's such a great actress and is pretty much the only person I can see in this role.

If I can't have Maggie, I think Rashida Jones could make a good Go.  Maybe.

The other character I keep picturing is Andie.  She has to be much younger and I think she needs to be able to pull of the ditzy thing.

Lucy Hale.  Is is MUCH younger, maybe too young?  She's 23, but usually plays teenagers.  I think she's got the perfect look though.

Minka Kelly.  She has the ability to play this role, she can act sweet but in a bad girl way.

That's about all I've got right now.  If you have read this book, who do you picture for each character?  I'd love to hear more opinions!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Fashion

I am the first to admit that I am not the most fashionable person.  Most days, you will find me in yoga pants, running clothes, a t-shirt and jeans, or a comfy jersey dress.  I always say that I will become more stylish someday, but I am still waiting for that to happen.  I do actually own some stylish clothing, but actually putting an outfit together is a different story!  Nevertheless, I have been spending some time browsing my favorite clothing stores online for some new spring is what I'm liking!

And there you have it- my spring fantasy shopping list!  Link up your favorite spring fashion with these lovely ladies below:

My Everyday Love

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend Review

And just like that- another weekend was gone.  I can't believe how fast time is flying by.  March is my least favorite month and it usually drags on and on, but this year is a different story.  Not sure why, maybe it's because I've been busier than usual.

This weekend was pretty nice, but I did absolutely nothing to do with St. Paddy's Day.  Oh well, I'm not too torn up over that one.  On Friday morning I was able to make it to the gym to get my 7 mile run hammered out on the treadmill.  It went SO much better than expected!  Getting back into running has been really tough for me, but the endurance and motivation is finally coming back.  I even had enough energy to go to yoga study early to practice teaching with some of my classmates.  My yogi friend Betsy taught us an awesome class that included some arm balances.  I wouldn't say I've "mastered" any of these yet, so I'm not ready to cross that off my 30 before 30 list, but maybe soon!

On Friday night, we hung out with our friends, Amanda and Brian.  We made some homemade pizzas and played a few boardgames.  It was a nice relaxing evening, just what a Friday night should be!

On Saturday morning, I checked out this cute little yoga studio- Invisible Bee Yoga.  I really enjoyed the class and hopefully will make it back over there to check out more of the classes!  That afternoon, Mark and I went to the taproom at Indeed Brewing Company and sampled a few brews.  We just relaxed and watched The Vow that night- I was pretty exhausted!

Sunday was filled with yoga mentorship, practice teaching, Bible study, and lots of cleaning!  

In addition to linking up with Sami, I am loving Rachel's Inspirational Monday link-up!  Go check it out and send some inspiration for the week!

Happy Monday, everyone!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Health & Fitness Friday

Yay, its FRIDAY!!  That means a long run and yoga study for me!  This week has been so-so with working out, but pretty decent with food.  I really try to not label food good or bad, but obviously some food has more nutritional value, and I feel that I've been getting a good amount of those nutrients in this week.

Did you know that there were edible four-leaf clovers?  Yep!  I went to a salad bar yesterday and there they were!  They tasted pretty bitter, but they were too cute to pass up!

Anyways, I've been eating fennel all week too.  I love it but almost never buy it, I really need to start using it in recipes more often!

As far as workouts go, this has been my plan this week:

Monday- Rest
Tuesday- 3 miles
Wednesday- 3 miles
Thursday- yoga
Friday- 7 miles
Saturday- yoga
Sunday- 4 miles

I did everything so far except that I couldn't make it to yoga on Thursday.  Instead, I walked my dog a couple miles- so I figure that was a good exchange.  I am off to the gym soon for my 7 miles, and I am feeling nervous!  The farthest I have ever run on a treadmill is 7 miles, which I used to do pretty routinely, but I feel like I was in much better shape back then!  I have yoga study all afternoon, and I am sure I will be doing quite a bit of work there too as we continue to to practice teaching.  I should be good and tired tonight!

Send me some good luck for my run this morning- I might need it!

Link up with Jen for Health and Fitness Friday!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How well do really know each other?

So I saw this cute little game floating around out there and wasted NO time telling Mark that he had to answer all of these questions.  I've never done one of these Q&A things, not at my bridal shower or bachelorette party or any other time, so I was probably way too excited about this.  I didn't change any answers...I promise!

1. How long have you been married? 
Me: 1 year and 10 months
Mark: 1 year 10 months 

2. Where was your first date? 
Me: Billy's on Grand
Mark: Sally’s (He just got the name wrong, we were both thinking of the same place...I know that because I immediately accused him of confusing our first date with his first date with some other chick.)

3. Where was your first kiss?

Me: In the parking lot of his apartment building
Mark: Parking lot in my apartment

4. Who said I love you first?

Me: Mark did
Mark: Probably me, but don’t remember

5. What were your wedding colors? 

Me: light pink, navy blue, and silver.
Mark: Silver/pink…

6. What is her most commonly used phrase?

Me: Ohhhh Nooo! Said in a funny voice.
Mark: “Oh No”

7. Who is her celebrity crush? 

Me: He'll say all of the guys on Grey's Anatomy (because we just finished watching the entire series on Netflix.)
MarkRecently “mc dreamy" and the guy meredith greys sister is dating.

8. If she ordered drinks for both of you, what would you each get?

Me: Either a craft beer or a California Pinot Noir
Mark: We probably both get a beer(probably get us a craft beer)….or you’d grab wine for yourself

9. What is the best meal shes made for you? 

Me: I think he'll say something like "that chickpea dish" which is actually called Hawaiian Chickpea Teriyaki.
Mark: That chick pea dish 

10. What is the worst meal shes made for you? 

Me: I made a Thai dish with rice and tofu that was way too spicy for him.  I learned my lesson!
Mark: The one thai meal that had way too hot

11. What is the most played song on her ipod? 

Me:  I don't think there's one song, more like one playlist.  Its mostly Blake Shelton and Eric Church.
Mark: Miranda lampert or blake Shelton songs….no idea

12. What would she say is your most annoying habit? 

Me: He's the messiest cook in the whole world.  A really really good cook, but messy.
Mark: Not talkative in the morning, or right away after coming home from work

13. What is the last thing she does before going to bed? 

Me: Well the last thing Mark does is accuse me of "stealing all the covers" which I turn around into him  "throwing all the covers at me to frame me for it."  It's a nightly occurrence.
Mark: Looks at pictures on facebook or browses pinterest

14. What would you say is your favorite thing about her? 

Me: Probably my humor or all the weird noises I make.
Mark: Her humor, she’s funny

15. What does she order at Starbucks?

Me: Chai tea latte
Mark: Chai tea

16. What is the name of her blog? 

Me: Strawberry Halls Forever
Mark: StrawberryHalls Forever

I think we did pretty good!! Thanks for doing that Mark! <3

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