Four (Thousand) Days

You guys.

It’s been raining here in Richmond for like, four thousand days in a row. Like, non-stop rain.

And before that? It was cloudy and foggy and miserable. I forget what the sun looks like. I’m not usually one to get bent outta shape because of a little rain, but this is different.

It’s also cold outside.

And while I don’t really have Season Affective Disorder (depression that occurs during a certain time of the year, usually winter) this weather has got me in a serious funk.

As in, I don’t want to put on real pants (or real bra for that matter), I only want to eat carbs and fat and sugar, and I’d prefer to sleep more often than not.

(source)

But, whatever. According to Facebook, everyone in Virginia feels the exact same way right now, which is my totally legitimate litmus test for normalcy.

Okay, I’m off. With a rain coat. And rain boots. And an umbrella. Because, you know, sugar melts when it gets wet.

 Let’s chat – Where do you live, and what’s the weather like?

Fitness Friday: A Laid Back Approach

I was doing pretty good with Fitness Fridays for about about six weeks, but I totally dropped the ball. The last one was back in August!

In case you’re interested, the other topics I covered were as follows:

I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t worked out all week. Then why bring back the Fitness Friday now, Colleen?

Well, I take that back. I went to Body Pump on Monday morning, but I ducked out early, as a migraine from the previous night hadn’t fully subsided. *Note: Weight lifting does NOT help a head ache.

 The thing is, it’s been great. I’ve slept in until 6:45 (!!) all week, and I haven’t felt one bit of remorse or guilt. Like, none. (If you’ve been reading for a while, you know how huge that is for me.)

Actually, over the past few weeks, my approach to fitness has been pretty laid back. I’ll go to about four classes a week, and on weekend mornings, my workout consists of an hour long walk with Cory and Campbell. Those walks are fantastic, and I truly look forward to them.

Brown’s Island is our favorite #rva :)

I applaud the bloggers who I follow who go balls to the wall all day, every day. I appreciate the lovely ladies who are constantly tweaking their diet to be as clean and paleo/vegan/vegetarian/no carbs as possible. In a way, I feel that they’re better than me. More dedicated, if you will.

Because, let’s be honest: I eat meat, cheese, sugar (real and fake), carbs, and foods that come out of boxes and bags.

aaaaaaaaa

If a fall into the comparison trap, those people make me feel a little bad about myself. How stupid, right?!

But then I remember, that as long as what I’m doing works for me, that’s all that really matters. And that’s the message I want you to remember for yourself, too. :)

Who knows, maybe next week I’ll be tweeting pictures of a treadmill after I crush a 5 mile run (highly unlikely) or maybe I’ll make it to the gym 6 days out of the week (again – unlikely),

aaaaa

but all I know is that I’ll be doing what feels good and right. I’m not forcing or guilting myself into doing anything.

That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it! ;) Have a wonderful weekend, my friends! We’re off to do the final walk through of the house!

Weekend Wrap Up

Hello, friends! If you had a long weekend, I sure hope you enjoyed it. Thankfully (and not thankfully, because I missed my family) we were in Richmond for the entire weekend. Hey, a weekend with NO travel?! What a novel idea! ;)

Since we had Thanksgiving on Wednesday night, the real Thanksgiving was a leisurely one filled with walks, visiting the house, and having dessert with Jamie and her family!

Having a long weekend was great – every day felt like Sunday, but without work or class looming on the horizon. Friday, with a day full of nothing, we hit the road and made our way to this money pit:

We love walking around Ikea. It can be dangerous though, because we walk around saying “Only $10.99?! We’ll take three!” It’s only when we get to the register do we actually realize the damage that’s been done.

As to not make that mistake again With that in mind, we only bought a few small items, but took our time walking around the showrooms. God, I love that place.

Aside from packing, a Sunday girlfriend shopping trip wrapped up my long weekend! It started with another Pottery Barn class, How to Host the Perfect Holiday Party. More on that tomorrow…

Tonight = second to last class/4 hour drive of the semester. Can I get big HELL YEAH?!

PS – Go wish my in-real-life-friend/sorority sister, Ashley a happy golden birthday. Seriously. Go do it. 

Let’s chat – Ikea: Love it, or totally overwhelmed by it?

Thanksgiving Came Early

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! 

I got lucky and was able to celebrate Thanksgiving a day early ;)

For yet another year in a row, my mother-in-law, Joni, hosted a perfectly executed Thanksgiving dinner. Joni is the Queen of Hosting, and I’m always in awe of how she remains so cool, calm and collected. If I had to have a clean house, look presentable, and have seven different dishes ready at the same time, I’d need a Xanax.

I’m also always so impressed by her little touches that make everything so festive.

It was a wonderful night!

So today, as I sit around relaxed and without a plan to call my own, I find myself eternally grateful for the awesome life I have.

I’m crazy about my husband, I adore my amazing family, I have the best friends, and I have my health. Really, there is nothing more I could possibly ask for.

Enjoy your day, folks! I hope it’s filled with love and tons of good food ;)

Let’s chat – Tell me something/someone you’re thankful for today!

Back to the Same Old, Same Old

Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend?

After being away all week, I was thrilled to be home celebrating the wedding of our friends Cush and Rachel. I was super thrilled to see Cory, too. (It looks like some things never change ;) )

I love attending weddings of my college friends because it’s always like a mini reunion. After graduation, most of us were pulled to different parts of the state, so I don’t get to see everyone as often as I’d like. Lucky for me, things always fall right into place – as if we never missed a day.

The wedding took place at a beautiful country club here in Richmond; and I’ve gotta say, they totally lucked out with the perfect weather! It was a gorgeous day for a gorgeous couple.

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Cushman!

Now it’s back to the same old, same old – something I’m quite looking forward to. Traveling is fun, but I’m such a creature of habit. Take me out of my routine for too long, and I start falling apart at the seams ;)

Let’s chat –

  • Do you travel often for work?
  • Are you a creature of habit? 

A Day at the [Doggy] Spa

It shames me to realize that I could easily be one of those bitties who wears a sweatshirt with her dog’s face screen printed on the front. You know, it would read: “World’s Best Boy” or something equally horrendous.

Yes, I’ve turned into that girl who unabashedly loves her dog and has fleeting moments in which she forgets her dog is not a human.

As some of you know, Campbell is a rescue dog; and while he’s come a LONG way since we adopted him in October, it’s safe to say that he’s still afraid of, well, everything.

On Saturday, we “treated” Campbell to a full-blown grooming experience. He was bathed, his nails were clipped, his teeth were brushed (thank GOD) his ears were cleaned and his anal gland was squeezed. Who knew that anal gland thing was important? Not this girl.

Needless to say, Campbell was a little nervous as we pulled into the PetSmart parking lot.

Cory and I were a little nervous, too. Cory was anxious because he thought Campbell might bite another dog (because it’s happened – twice) and I was nervous that my wittle baby boy would have a heart attack.

When we checked him in I firmly, yet kindly, reminded the Grooming Specialist, Jason about Campbell’s situation (Any Redskins/football fans catch the irony in this groomer/groom-y name situation?):

“Campbell’s a rescue dog who was abused. We don’t know how badly abused, but we know it was significant. He’s scared of everything, really. 

I then bent down to finish my conversation with Jason, through Campbell. You know how people do that? They use their dog to have conversations with people?

You’re aggressive with other dogs, but you just don’t know any better, do you, my wittle boooyyy? You have a kind heart.”

Jason had a glossy-eyed look about him, and I wanted to shake him and say “DID YOU HEAR ME?! DON’T SCARE MY SWEET BOY!” But I decided that might be in poor taste.

Four hours later, Campbell emerged as a whole new man dog! (and quite eager for some treats ;) )

As we were leaving, Jason suggested we have Campbell groomed every four weeks.

Psh, not at $65 a pop, buddy. I don’t spend that kind of money on my own hair each month. See, sometimes I remember he’s a dog, not a human ;)

Let’s chat:

  • Does your pet enjoy being groomed?
  •  Who else talks to their pet like it’s a person? …Anyone?

 

Fitness Results, FINALLY!

Until my sophomore year of college, I had never stepped foot into a gym. The only reason I started working out is because the brand-spankin’-new fitness facility was built right next door to my dorm building.

It’s as if the universe and my tight jeans was sending me a not so subtle sign. Get in the gym, you lazy SOB. You have no excuses now. 

So, I went. I tried my best to mentally prepare myself to get serious about fitness.

I’ll never forget the first time I stepped – okay, stumbled – onto an elliptical. I set it to Level 2 (because I’m a born champion) and got to work. My legs were on FYAH! I was sweatin’ like a sonofgun and felt like I was really going to town.

Then, I looked down. Nine minutes had passed. I think I trucked on for another solid minute before throwing in the towel. Literally, I threw my towel.

But then next day I went back and tried again.

Over time, things have gotten easier, and I’ve continued to challenge myself. I moved up to running. Lifted a few weights. Took a few classes.

And those are the results I’ve seen. My results have been stamina and endurance. I’ve never lost a significant amount of weight (because I didn’t have to) and I’ve never seen a difference in my shape.

Was that ever discouraging?

HELL YES! Sometimes I’ve felt discouraged when friends lose weight, chisel abs, and buy new, smaller clothes. We always want what we don’t have, right?

That said, I’ve always known and appreciated that fitness looks different on every body.

So. 

Fast forward to last night: I was making dinner and Cory said, Your back and shoulders look really strong. 

What’s that you say?!

Like the uber tool that I am, I immediately ran to look in the mirror. I was shocked. I saw muscle!! Muscle I never had before!

Finally, FIVE YEARS after starting my fitness journey and a month after stepping into a BodyPUMP class (three times a week), I have seen my first real physical results.

For some, this may not be a big deal. But for me, it is! Especially because I have that whole Muscular Dystrophy thing going on. So, I’m proud of myself. Plain and simple.

*Please know that I am not trying to be vain by posting this. If you read this blog regularly, you know that’s not my style. In over a year of blogging, this is my first “serious” fitness picture. (Mainly because I feel weird putting pictures of my bod on the internet.)*

Anyway, this just goes to show that this whole fitness thing does work. Maybe it takes longer for some than others (ie: ME) but this feeling is worth it! :)

Stay happy and healthy, my friends! Have a great weekend!

Let’s chat: What I love most about fitness is _____________. Challenging my body and the feeling of accomplishment that it brings. 

Unlikely Third Wheel

Last night I went out to dinner at Kobe with my boyfriend and my girlfriend. Contrary to the scathing Yelp reviews, we all absolutely loved the place! We’ve been talking about chowing down on hibachi for weeks now, and thankfully last night was the night!

Funny story: at Longwood (where Cory, Emily and I went to school), the standard dinner time was 5:00. Seriously, everyone was at the dining hall by five for dinner – and honestly, I think we all got used to it.

We don’t necessarily eat dinner at 5:00 anymore, but apparently we still eat much earlier than the average person.

Yep, the three of us had our own personal hibachi chef/dining room. Emily commented that it would have been really romantic if Cory and I had been on a date.

To that, Cory said, “Emily, do you ever feel like the third wheel when you go out with us?”

Emily replied “Nope.” 

Cory sighed. “Oh, well I do.”

I just can’t imagine how he could come to that conclusion! ;)

Brunchy Weekend

Oh, Monday. We meet again. For a pretty lazy weekend, this one flew by!

Saturday morning was spent doing the three things I love most: spending time with Cory, working out, and eating.

Emily and I headed to BodyPUMP Saturday morning and I struggled through the new release. I had done it already, but maybe my body knew it was Saturday and was going on strike for being worked out ;)

After the ‘PUMP Cory and I walked over to LuLu’s for brunch.

My omelette was tasty, but the service was subpar and I feel like the menu was a little pricy for what we were getting.

The rest of the day was spent lounging around the apartment not doing much of anything. It was glorious. Campbell even picked up on our desire to do nothing and was just as lounge-y as we were. ;)

Sunday was yet another brunch – but this time is was with bloggers! Liz and Sarah set up an amazing brunch at Stella’s. The food was out of this world. I’ll be dreaming of that crab omelette for days…

The rest of my rainy Sunday was spent reading this.

I’m only 127 pages in, and I can’t stop reading. And I hate myself for it. The writing is horrendous – horrendous! – but I keep turning the pages.

If you haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey, it’s about a (virgin!) girl who meets this outrageously wealthy entrepreneur – who happens to be into all kinds of whips and chains.

And she’s like – Cool. I can get down with that. 

WHAT?!

The graphic detail  of this book could leave even the most “experienced” ladies blushing, and the writing could make a 10th grade literature teacher throw the book across the room in fit of rage.

For the first time ever, I’m reading a book simply so I can be in on the discussion. (I chose to ignore such popular works as Harry Potter and Twilight.)

Let’s chat: 

  • Are you a brunch-y person? This weekend was the first time I’ve ever been out to brunch! 
  • Have you read 50 Shades? What did you think? (Without giving too much away!)

Sunday Funday Hike

Do you know why I love Twitter so much? Because it’s like a personal Google. All I have to do is ask a question, and someone is bound to answer it.

When I called out for any suggestions on where to find a good hiking spot in Richmond, Carter delivered in no time!

Cory, Campbell and I set out for Buttermilk Norhtbank Trail Loop around 9:00 on Sunday morning. The weather was beautiful, and we had absolutely no plans to attend to.

We walked the roughly 3 miles on Buttermilk, which was an awesome trail. The only qualm I had was that the tails were super narrow and it’s a hiking-slash-biking trail, so several times we were left standing on the edge of the trail to avoid a hiker/biker collision. That said, everyone we encountered was nothing but polite, so there were never any problems.

(Seriously, I fell twice and I was walking. How do people bike on stuff like this and not kill themselves?!)

Campbell isn’t very FitFluential, and was extremely parched two miles into the hike. We were thrilled when we found this mini-water fall. Not surprisingly, he was a mini-diva about the situation.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Once we reached the end of Buttermilk Trail, we walked across Boulevard Bridge which took us over the James River. I love the James – and I cannot wait for it to be consistently warm enough so that we can spend an afternoon on the river rocks.

Once we crossed the bridge, we started down the Northbank Trail, which continued on for another 3-ish miles.

By the end of our 2 hour and 40 minutes hike, we were reaching 7 miles and my legs were screaming at me. The previous morning, Emily and I went to Body Pump and I felt it was time to up my weights. Well, let’s just say after upping weights (hellooo, squats!) and a 7-mile hike, my legs are shot. 

Sore legs aside, it was an awesome way to spend our Sunday morning. It felt so great being outside and active with my little family ;) A great end to the weekend if ya ask me!

Let’s chat – Fill in the blank: This weekend was totally ______. Relaxing! I loved not having any firm plans. That kind of weekend is few and far between in our lives!