Monday, January 31, 2011

Zumba Madness and Red Carpet Awards

I don't know if this is due to the usual January fitness boost or if that many people around campus have really joined the movement, but there was a line as long as Disney World rides waiting to get into class last night. Corie and I were all excited to get back into Zumba for the semester, seeing as the last couple of weeks we've missed our usual Sunday night exercise, but when we turned the corner for the aerobics room we suddenly realized we were no longer alone. Last semester there were 40 maybe (?) people who would show up for Zumba.... probably less on a usual basis. The waiting crowd was a let down and we decided we didn't want to be packed in like cattle with no place to move. Knowing from previous dance classes that an overcrowded classroom can lead to kicks in the face and elbows to the nose, I didn't feel like chancing it.

We were both really bummed, but hoping that tonights class might have fewer people. Or at least I hope that week day classes will attract a smaller crowd.

Instead of just leaving last night, I challenged Corie to stay and workout on the equipment upstairs. She mentioned biking, so I ran a few warm up laps and we hopped on the bikes. We peddled for 11 minutes then Corie decided she wanted to try out the ellipticals (I need to drag her along with me more often) and we used those for 10 minutes. It was short but sweaty!

After the workout, I sat down to finish some online quizzes and watch the SAG awards. I love watching award shows, but my favorite part has always been the red carpet.

Here's my personal favorites from last night.....

Love Natalie Portman....and her cute baby bump ( I hope I look that good when I'm preggers) much better than her golden globs look

Another one of my all time favorite actresses. I think she always nails it fashion wise!

I was not expecting this from Tina Fey, but really I've never been super disappointed by anything she's worn.

Did you watch the SAG awards last night? Who do you think dressed best?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kicking Ass

You can call me Hit Girl because I officially kicked Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred's butt tonight.

Take that side lunges!

What is this my 6th time doing level one? Seriously, I lost count....uh oh (reminds me of trying to remember how many laps I've done at the track).

It's finally gotten to the point where I can do all the moves full out. And yes it probably helped that I was doing the video with 2.5 pound weights (which really does make a difference). But for the first time I was not begging Jillian to forget the second set of jumping jacks or contemplating fast forwarding through the second section of side lunges. Lifting the weights to eye level didn't make my arms feel like they were going to rip off.

Have I finally conquered level one? Do I dare try level two?
......scary thoughts.

The plan is to do 1 more week of level one then move on.

This week's exercise plan

Sun- Zumba :)
Mon- 30 Day Shred
Tues- Yoga? or Run
Wed- 30 Day Shred
Thurs- Run
Fri- 30 Day Shred
Sat- Break

PS. I rented the movie Kick Ass tonight from the Red Box... hence the awesome reference. I've always wanted to be an assassin (more like Angelina Jolie) but super heroes are sweet too.

Friday with Friends

This well as all my previous semesters....I don't have class (i'm spoiled), and so I'm left lounging around and procrastinating. Usually I don't do a whole lot because most of my other friends have class, and I don't have a job, but yesterday was semi productive.

I woke up and made an amazing breakfast (I forgot to snap a picture), it consisted of....
-kashi autumn wheat (which always reminds me of Florida with my gparents)
-broken up banana
-vanilla almond butter


Afterward I went to the gym, which was kind of a fail in the running department and I'm questioning my decision to run this marathon, but I'm glad I worked out. Which, by the way, I can't believe the Chicago Marathon registration opens up on Tuesday! I've been making excuses to not work out and haven't been frequently hitting the gym like I should be. I don't know what my problem is this semester, maybe the snow? maybe the cloudy skies? So yesterday I walked two warm up laps then started to run, got three laps in until my shins started screaming in pain. I stopped to loosen them up and walk for a few laps, but the pain didn't go away. I continued the rest of the first mile then stopped for a bit to stretch out. After realizing that the pain in my shins was not going to go away that easily, I knew I needed to skip out on running for the day. Instead I went on the elliptical, good cardio workout but not as much pressure on my shins. The elliptical worked great and my legs loosened up quite nicely after 15 minutes.

Later in the day a few friends and I went to see No Strings did we laugh!

The movie stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, who are both charming and hilarious. I'd definitely recommend this movie and can't wait for it to come out on DVD.

The night was also eventful on a different note, Corie and I witnessed a drug deal in the middle of the Family Video parking lot and when we pulled in at the movies we caught a couple in the middle of some car action. If we were cops we would have had prime spots last night.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

They Do Love Me

My parents really do love me :)

I kinda had a hunch, but this just proves it.

I asked my parents to send down a few things for me with my grand parents. So when I went to my aunt's on Sunday there were 3 bags waiting for me. When I finally peeked inside them and started to pull stuff out, it felt like Christmas morning!

They sent me not one.....

But TWO Naturally Nutty jars!!

: )

Naturally Nutty is a brand made in TC and they have a ton of different flavors and types of nut butter. They've got everything from normal Peanut Butter to Sunflower Seed and Cashew Butter, and it's all handcrafted with organic ingredients.

I actually first heard about the brand from reading Meals and Miles (crazy right that she buys the brand from my hometown and has it shipped to Florida). But it is totally worth it! I got a small jar of the Vanilla Almond Butter for Christmas..... probably one of my favorite gifts. I tried the Mocha Peanut Butter yesterday on a brownie......AMAZING! If only I had some vanilla ice cream laying around for that perfect combo ;)

The rest of the bags contained this...

  • Cereal- Special K Berries and Yogurt and MultiGrain Cheerios (I love cereal)
  • Ramen- there was quite a few more in the bag that I didn't put in the picture
  • Magazine- my monthly Marie Claire subscription came
  • Popcorn- the smart pop butter mini pack kind....just enough for the perfect snack or dessert
  • Naturally Nutty
  • Honey
  • Mouthwash- two different kinds....some lovin for my mouth
  • Homemade BROWNIES!!!!!!- I kept telling my mom that the only thing I wanted was brownies, and kept making obvious hints (flat out asking) for her to send me some (I really didn't think she would)
  • Hand weights- new 2.5 pound ones, more reasonable weight for the 30 Day Shred
  • Burt's Bee's Chapstick- this was a surprise, for my poor winter chapped lips....the other stuff just wasn't working the same as Burt's (really does anything else compare?)

It's even the kind with Mango Butter.....smells delicious!


Dive for Dreams

dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind) 
trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward) 
honour the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at the wedding) 
never mind a world
with its villains or heroes
(for good likes girls
and tomorrow and the earth) 
in spite of everything
which breathes and moves, since Doom
(with white longest hands
neating each crease)
will smooth entirely our minds 
-before leaving my room
i turn, and (stooping
through the morning) kiss
this pillow, dear
where our heads lived and were. 

silently if, out of not knowable 

silently if, out of not knowable 
night's utmost nothing,wanders a little guess 
(only which is this world)more my life does 
not leap than with the mystery your smile 
sings or if (spiraling as luminous 
they climb oblivion)voices who are dreams, 
less into heaven certainly earth swims 
than each my deeper death becomes your kiss 
losing through you what seemed myself,i find 
selves unimaginably mine;beyond 
sorrow's own joys and hoping's very fears 
yours is the light by which my spirit's born: 
yours is the darkness of my soul's return 
-you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars

- ee cummings

Yes I was watching Charlie St. Cloud this weekend when I heard Zac Efron quote ee  cummings (who is undoubtedly my favorite poet of all time). His style and voice are so unique and in every one of his poems I find something to connect to. I was planning on making a "10 things" list of top poems sometime, but realized most of it would consist of ee cummings. At first I didn't think I had heard dive for dreams, but as I was reading through the poem the words became oddly familiar (so I think I have but it must have been awhile ago).

I was a little skeptical about the quality of this movie at first, but it was surprisingly good. Zac Efron's acting wasn't bad and it made me want to go sailing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

iwant! iwant!

Last week sometime I was searching through Pandora and a few other choice websites looking for new music (yes again, I told you I'm a music addict....the search will never stop). Anywho, I was picking my way around Blalock's Indie/Rock Playlists (a site heavily connected to the hipster scene, but an amazing source for cutting edge music), which I visit on occasion because I know I'll never be let down.
Scrolling down through the January playlist, my eyes caught a heavily weighted four star song called Anna Sun (sounds interesting right?) by Walk the Moon. I think I mentioned last week that it was one of the songs I bought.... but the "problem" is I haven't been able to stop listening to it....or them. Then as always I hit up Youtube, to search more songs by the artist. Look what I found.....

Seriously, what's not to love here? Painted faces, 80's wear, very good looking singer, a reminder of summer, and something that just makes you want to get up and dance.

or another one of my favorites...

just to name a few, I'd seriously suggest just listening to anything you can get your hands on.

After purchasing Anna Sun I went back to buy Jenny, and today couldn't resist buying the rest of the CD. This music just makes me smile..... and most importantly get up and start dancing around my room, while singing along and whipping my hair around (something I only do when no one's watching).

I keep forgetting these guys are more small time still, because I can't believe why anyone would not like Walk the Moon. I wish they were coming closer to where I am! I might have to make a special trip to Chicago this spring to track them down when they play there....seriously.

If you're like me and love Walk the Moon, you can find more information on...

and their songs are available on itunes, which I would definitely recommend purchasing!

Can't wait to hear more from this group :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011


When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.  
~Svatmarama,Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Tonight as I was following my Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred video for the fourth time, it occurred to me just how important breathing is. Not in the, if you aren't breathing, you're probably dead kind of way, but noticing the power of controlled breath.

Whether it's in yoga, pilates, running, or any other kind of workout (or really life in general) breathing at the right time is so important. Focusing on breathing can quiet the mind, making concentrating on working out easier. It can also help when lifting weights.....which is really what I noticed tonight. As I was struggling with my five pounders, I suddenly realized I was holding my breathe, something I always had problem with in dance. Holding your breath really will not help any time, but especially when trying to get through a work out. Giving your body and muscles oxygen at the right time is essential. Focusing on the inhale and exhale also makes the workout go faster (and easier).....and who doesn't like that.

My muscles are feeling tighter and my pants looser, and now I'm wishing I would have actually weighed myself before starting this just for the curiousness of how much weight I'm actually losing. 

My grandparents are driving down tonight to my Aunt's to pick up my great grandma on their way to Florida (luckies!), so I get to see them tomorrow morning. I wish they would take me with them.....I've been dying to get out of the mitten state and on to a much warmer climate. Granted last year when they were there it was warmer in TC than it was down in Florida, now that's unfortunate. Hopefully this year it will be a lot nicer for them, and they'll be able to enjoy the warmth and sun of the south. (seriously I might just try to fit myself into one of their suitcases tomorrow....who cares about school anyway right?)


Look what I came across on the TOMS Shoe's blog page.

Inspiring! I couldn't help but share :)

Something to live by.

What inspires you to reach for your dreams?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Start Me Up

"If you start me up
If you start me up I'll never stop"

The first song on my workout playlist is Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones and it works every time. It's just enough push to make me "never stop, never stop, never stop." Yes, I finally went running!!! After my earlier post I knew I couldn't let myself down again by not going. Step one is complete and I'm officially back on track. I realized today that getting back into running is no easy task, and I've definitely lost a lot of the stamina I had gained before. I was out of breathe before even my 2nd lap and my stride was no longer second nature. When you start running on a regular basis you get to where your muscles do their thing and you no longer have to think about moving, your body just does. It's exactly like when I'm dancing. My arm moves and without having to think my body rebounds into another move....everything works in harmony. I love the feeling of my legs moving through space and breaking through the air around me; my heart racing, and the feel of my muscles working (after years of dance, you learn to become very aware of every muscle in your body). When I'm working out it's like the world stands still for once, and my mind quiets. 

When I got to the rec center, I immediately noticed the brand new surface on the track. I have no idea what it is, but I'm thinking it was some sort of rubbery substance....much better than running on concrete. I was only planning on doing 2 miles, but ended up pushing for 3.  When I say I went running, it wasn't for very long before I stopped to I said, no more stamina :( But that doesn't mean I didn't push myself at all.

Here's the breakdown

Mile 1
  • Laps 1-2 = walk
  • Laps 3-5 = run
  • Lap 6 = walk
  • Lap 7 = run
  • Lap 8 = walk
  • Lap 9 = run
Mile 2
  • Laps 1-2 = walk
  • Lap 3 = run
  • Lap 4 = walk
  • Laps 5-7 = run
  • Lap 8 = walk
  • Lap 9 = run
Mile 3
  • Laps 1-3 = walk
  • Lap 4 = run
  • Lap 5 = walk
  • Lap 6 = run
  • Laps 7-9 = walk
That's a total of 12 laps running and 15 laps walking. It took me 45 minutes total. I feel like I'm back at the beginning, but you have to start somewhere right?

Oh and I loved my new running pants (that I finally got to use)! I was worried about wearing pants in the hot rec but they actually kept me quite cool and warm at the same time.....if that makes sense? And my new ipod armband worked out quite nicely.

No better words

Yesterday I was reviewing my 2011 Resolutions and was one, disappointed by my lack of adherence to my new goals and two, graciously reminded that number one on my list was love the person who I am. This is something I've really been struggling with lately. I've felt so unsure of my decisions and stressed out about making such important decisions for my future with school and my major. I've been mad at myself for sitting around watching TV shows and not running, and all these negative thoughts have been racing around in my head. I have slowly been backing myself into a corner, making it harder to see the light in my day.

Until today:

I can think of no better way to sum up all of the things I've been thinking about life lately than the words of Evanna Lynch (who plays Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movies). I was watching the recent vlog from owlssayhoot (Kayley Hyde) in which she mentions Evanna's blog and I had to check it out.

One: it relates to Harry that's always a plus, right?
Two: it somehow explains exactly what I've been experiencing lately
Three: it cleverly connects this state of mind with a song I've been obsessed with lately....."my body is a cage" by arcade fire

Evanna's blog, called "Why the Body Bind is My Nightmare" is an amazing article that I believe everyone can relate to in one way or another. I'd encourage people to pass the article on to others who might need some inspiration lately.

The article reminded me that my body is important and I need to take care of it. If running is really what I want to do, then I need to go do it.....because I'm the only thing holding myself back at this moment. I've got plenty of time today with nothing to do. I just need to take that step, put on my exercise clothes, grab my keys and walk the very short walk to the rec center indoor track. Motivation to achieve goals comes from within, from positive thoughts, and a strive to better oneself.

How will I ever run a marathon if I can't even get myself out of my room for a short run. I can and will do, no more excuses for this girl.

Has anything been holding you back lately? Have you been sticking to your 2011 resolutions?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Things That Make the Day Better

When I took yoga at NMC, we were assigned to write at least three daily gratitudes in a journal. Taking the time to pick out three things each day to be thankful for, taught me how to stop and appreciate life. There's always things during the day that can go wrong and bring you down, but we don't always pick out what goes right.

Here's a list of things that made my day:

  1. New music: Besides dance, music is my life and has always had a way to make me feel better. I love finding new music and figuring out the rhythm and feel of the song. I recently bought the songs Anna Sun by Walk the Moon; I Need a Life and Foxes Mate for Life by Born Ruffians; Tickle Me Pink, The Box, and Barnacled Warship by Johnny Flynn; Unsatisfied and Taste of a Man by Rachel Borovik; Just Impolite by Plushgun; and My Body is a Cage by Arcade Fire. Yes I realize this is completely breaking my save my money resolution, but I couldn't help myself....I'm a music addict. My friend Gabby told me about Johnny Flynn (who's from England, but can still pull off this amazing folk sound), and I used to go to school with Rachel (who's an amazing artist and I love her soulful sound).
  2. My Mom's chili: My mom sent me back to school with some yummy homemade chili, and I finished it up today.

      3.  Finding out that the sign up for Chicago Marathon starts February 1st! The next step to my goal. I know if I don't sign up I'll regret it, so even thought I don't feel ready now, I know I'll get myself ready.
     4.  Working on my training schedule for my 10K :)
     5.  Discovering a brand new artist: The amazing works of Tyler Shields. He's a celebrity photographer, who has this amazing knack for video portraits. He's slightly twisted, but his stuff is so good I can't even explain.

All these pictures come from Tyler's website.....  Just a word of caution, many of the photos are pretty racy and can be pretty dark. You definitely need to have an open mind to appreciate his works. (and if you do, don't forget to check out the videos....they're awesome!)
      6.  Lastly, I finished my great day with a cup of steaming hot Big Train Vanilla Chai tea: This is probably my favorite brand of chai. YUM YUM YUM. it never gets old.

Look at my cute mug....a gift from my wonderful aunt, who also gave me the big train chai :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Monday!

On any other ordinary Monday I would not be a happy camper....but this Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which means no classes!!!!! 

Of course we can't forget what and who the day is dedicated to and all that he gave in order to make the world that much of a better place. Here are a few of my favorite MLK Jr. quotes.

"Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars...Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Another day to relax and sleep in is always a day to be thankful for. In the midst of my laziness and procrastination I did manage to do my 30 Day Shred video again. This is my third time doing it because I skipped Saturday and Sunday. My goal is to get in 30 times of doing the video even if they're not consecutive days. I did still use my 5 pounders, but took a few breaks by not incorporating the weights (some of the squats and the side lunges on the second reps) to give my arms a rest. The video is slowly but surely getting easier, and I always feel so good after I'm done. One thing that I love about the video is that at every point that I am starting to feel like I just want to give up, Jillian reminds me that you can't take a break and you have to push yourself. It's always during the first section of weights in the second rep of push ups, right when I go to sit in child's pose for a sec that she says something about you can't stop in a 20 minute workout and it always forces me to keep trying.

The rest of the day has been devoted to Dexter, you know that Showtime Series about a serial killer cop who only kills the bad guys, yeah creepy right? I've heard such good things about this show from everyone that I had to check it out for myself. I've actually seen a few episodes before here and there but I had no clue what was happening. When I started watching the pilot I was totally weirded out and the killing scenes just reminded me somewhat of American Psycho. Then I kept watching and now I'm hooked.....great another show I plan on following, as if I don't already have enough. It still totally freaks me out that he's a murderer and that he just slices people up, but the forensic parts are really intriguing. The way Dexter can tell what happens by analyzing the patterns of blood and such is way cool. The show just draws you in and you can't help but keep watching to see what happens next. 

On a different note, I went to the cafe tonight for dinner and everything was so disgusting tasting. I'm very thankful that I changed my meal plan, but can't wait till I can eat whatever I want to eat again....3 more days!

What I've been craving lately, but haven't been able to eat:
  • Pizza....seriously all I want is some cheesy goodness
  • Wheat Thins Stix....I got some more for Christmas that have just been sitting in my room taunting me
  • Granola and yogurt.....I can have the yogurt but granola's been a no go
  • Various fruits and veggies.....apples, pears, cucumbers, carrots
  • Oreos....yummmm
  • And I'm sure many other random crunchy foods I can't think of at the moment

Friday, January 14, 2011

30 Day Shred- Day 2....kinda

So I skipped my 30 Day Shred workout yesterday. I think my muscles have been in shock. My dad always tells me that it's specially important to work out the day after a big workout and your muscles are tight and slightly sore. I mean if you injure a muscle it'd definitely a no go the next day, but normal soreness will actually loosen up when you exercise again. But, I was too busy watching Bones yesterday to do the workout before it was that late at night. I wasn't even going to do it tonight either because I thought it was too late and the person below me would probably not appreciate someone doing jumping jacks above their head, but I went for it anyway. I haven't been wearing shoes during the video so as to cut down on the noise.

Actually I thought in some ways the workout was much harder to do today than the first day. The strength section particularly was hard for me to keep up with (I definitely need to look into getting less weights for now). I was dying during the first section of cardio and then each section after that got progressively better. One thing I did notice was how much faster the workout seemed today.

I'm still doing many of the modified versions of the moves, but I'm sure that will get better with time. I think my favorite part is the abs....1 minute of abs is pretty light. I'll be interested to see what will come with the next level of difficulty....but I won't be there for a couple of weeks probably.

I'm so jealous of Jillian Michael's body, but I know she's put a ton of time an effort into sculpting it so I'm not setting my hopes up for anything that good by the end of this challenge.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Typical Thursday...

My new schedule this semester is a love hate relationship. In one sense I love getting my classes over with in the morning and having the rest of the day to do whatever, but in the other sense I hate waking up at 6:30 and 7:30 every day... or Monday through Thursday really.

Last Semesters Schedule

Literary Classics- Monday and Wednesday from 12-1:50
Social Psychology- Monday and Wednesday from 2-3:15
Health Lecture - Monday from 6-6:30
Aerobics- Tuesday and Thursday from 2-2:50
Deductive Logics- Tuesday and Thursday from 4-4:50
Deductive Logics Lab- Thursday from 7-7:50

Pros- never had to worry about sleeping through class or setting an alarm
Cons- sporadic, night classes ughhhh

Spring Semester Schedule

Race, Biology, and Culture- Monday and Wednesday from 9-9:50
Art History, Section 2- Monday and Wednesday from 2-3:15
R,B, and C Discussion- Wednesday from 11-11:50
Modern Social Problems- Tuesday and Thursday from 8-9:15
Child Psychology- Tuesday and Thursday from 11-12:15
Human Sexuality- Online

Morning versus afternoon.....the great debate.
When I was at home working it wasn't a big deal to schedule morning classes so I could just head to work after, but last semester spoiled me. I haven't slept well all week with the anxiety of possibly sleeping through my alarm or hitting the snooze too many times. At home I constantly relied on my parents to wake me up......yes even in college. Actually for the first few days of the week I asked if my mom would call me in the mornings to see if I had woken up. I also decided to set two alarms, which worked really well. I set my normal alarm on my alarm clock up by my head and I set my alarm on my phone and left it down by my TV in order to force me to climb down from my bed and turn it off. I'm just happy my first week back is coming to a close and I can sleep in tomorrow morning.

The only good thing about this semester is being able to relax for the rest of the day after classes are done. I got back from Child Psychology and plopped down in my green chair for a little relaxation. It's hard for me to take naps, so I just decided to catch up on the episodes of Bones I've missed recently. Bones is one of my favorite shows, the Booth/Brennan dynamic is amazing.


I love watching Booth kick butt and Bones with her socially awkward tendencies.
I greatly miss Zach Addy,


but grateful that Hodgens and Angela are finally a happy couple again :)


and you can't forget the wonderful Doctor Sweets. (aka Sam Weir from Freaks and Geeks!) Always trying to figure out Booth and Bones. Quirky, but pretty much the cutest thing ever!


Not to mention all the amazing cases they solve (personal recommendation, don't watch this while you're eating). There was a really long time that I wanted to be a forensic scientist. In 9th grade when we had to research the jobs we wanted in our future that's what I chose. Later on I decided I wanted to specialize in DNA analysis until I realized how lazy I am and how hard that would be.....welcome to my underachieving life. From there I went on to many other random jobs, until finally returning to forensic psychology (Sweet's job), forensic anthropology (Brennan's job), and forensic reconstruction or facial reconstruction (Angela's job). I thought for a really long time about facial reconstruction. It still amazes me the images that can be drawn using only the underlying structures. I'm a big anatomy freak and love art, so it seems like the perfect job. Maybe some day I'll stumble upon the job such as Angela's character did on Bones, but as for now I'll stick with helping people who are still alive.

I had yummy left over chili from home for lunch today and a slightly soggy bowl of cereal for dinner :) Today's my last day of antibiotics and one week until I can eat normally again. I took the time to switch my meal plan from unlimited to 10. For those of you who don't speak college terms, I used to be able to swipe into the cafeteria however many times I wanted during a week, but now I can only go 10 times per week. Switching meal plans saved me roughly $300. Last semester I realized I hardly ever went to the cafe on the weekends and would occasionally skip lunch or dinner during the week. Why pay so much for food that isn't all that appetizing and doesn't give you any sort of nutrition. I'd much rather buy my own foods that I love, than go to the cafeteria all the time. Hopefully I'll be able to handle all the dirty dishes I'll have to clean this semester. I also need to find some good, easy recipes for the microwave.

Now I'm ending the day with a nice shower and some more Bones!


Happy Thursday!

Am I weird?

Am I weird because I hate the sound of a vacuum more that anything in the world?

I basically never vacuum the little bit of carpet in my dorm, I hardly ever vacuumed my room at home (and pretty much only did when I was forced to by my parents). I have this terrible feeling that my future apartment/ home will have really gross carpet because I'll never vacuum. I find this kind of a problem, and now that I think about it more really disgusting.

For some individuals vacuuming is very therapeutic... I find cleaning and straightening up my room fun and therapeutic to a point, but not that (which reminds me that I really need to finish straightening up my dorm room). Don't get me wrong, I'd much rather vacuum than clean the bathroom or something, but it's still a torturous task.

They always vacuum down our dorm hallway, understandably of course, but I get so annoyed! I can't help but cringe when I start to hear the sound down the hall, and have to close my door as it gets closer. Some days I'm lucky enough to be out when they clean, but others not so much. I hope I'm not the only one that finds the vacuum sound annoying.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

30 Day Shred- Day 1

I finally got out of my comfy green chair tonight and worked out. Instead of heading all the way to the rec center, I opted to stay in my dorm room and just do the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred that I mentioned yesterday. And man or man did I get a workout, this video is tough!

The video consists of 3 different difficulty levels, it's recommended that you begin with level one and continue after the workout becomes comfortable. Each workout lasts 27 minutes and consists of 3 stage circuits. Each circuit is broken up into strength, cardio, and ab exercises. All of the exercises that Jillian has you do are easy to follow and simple to learn. I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up, but most of the exercises I'd done before. I never knew that simple things like jumping jacks and squats with weights could be so difficult. She had me sweating in no time....granted it's already a sauna in my room and I had to open the window all the way to cool it down enough. One of the women you follow does the modified version and the other does each full movement (I can't imagine what goes into filming a workout tape). Normally, I always do moves full out because I feel like the modified versions are just me being lazy, but many of the times I had no other choice but to stop and go to modified.

One of my worst problems are my weak arms. Most of the time I don't lift weights or do push-ups so that was the real challenge. My arms are so sore their shaking at the moment. Five pound weights were definitely a bad idea. I might have to go buy another set of lighter weights to start off with. By the time I got to the side lunges with the arm raises I could hardly lift my arms.

I think my favorite part is the amount of time it takes. It's so easy to give up 27 minutes of your day to make yourself feel good. And not having to walk out in the cold to the gym definitely helped. I still haven't decided if I'm going to actually do the 30 day challenge and stick with this every day. I feel with running that might be a bit much....not to mention how sore I'm going to be tomorrow! Which really is a good thing, being sore means you're working new muscles and after years of dance I've learned to appreciate the feeling :) I can feel tighter muscles already.

I'd definitely recommend this video to anyone looking for something new to try and people who want a challenging workout. Maybe it was just because I watch Biggest Loser and have seen Jillian Michaels be so tough on the show, but I felt like I couldn't quite or else she'd start yelling at me like she does to some of the contestants. She was a good motivator to keep me going even though I wanted to just stop. Plus for beginners Jillian takes the time to indicate when to breath and gives you tips on proper positioning. From my past experiences I've learned when best to breath, but like I said I don't know much about weights so those cues came in handy.

Now off to bed, I've gotten horrible sleep all this week and am exhausted! One more day of waking up early, then a long weekend.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I've been a little off the scale lately with my exercise. I started this blog as a way to stick to my running goals and help motivate me, but ever since I went home for break I let exercising fall behind. Yes I did try (and kinda fail) running outside with Sam, and walking on the treadmill. But treadmills are boring and Michigan winters aren't exactly great for outdoor running. I feel like I'm just making excuses for something that has been bugging me, because making a choice to be healthy and active is easier said than done.

But I'm back at Western and the Student Rec Center is back in walking distance, with it's fancy work out equipment and wonderful indoor track. I am signed up for the Bay Shore 10K and am working on my official training schedule right now (Hopefully I'll have time to put it up tomorrow). I keep checking every day to see when more information on this years Chicago Marathon will come out.....hopefully soon.

I also bought Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred from Target before I left home.

 Reading from other blogs and talking to other people, I hear great things about her workout videos. I'm normally not a big fan of workout videos because I get distracted at home and find it hard to stick to them. I like to switch up my workouts a lot and am worried about having to do the same thing for 30 days. Plus if I'm running I might not do the video everyday. I guess I'll just try to fit it into my training schedule and see what happens. I don't want to overwork myself.

Also, for those interesting in buying the video and trying it for yourself, make sure you have a set of hand weights. I can't believe weights aren't mentioned in the video description because apparently there's a whole section of weight training. I didn't have a set of hand weights hanging around and luckily a friend told me you needed some. I bought a set of 5 pounders for cheap at TJ Maxx (man I love that store). I'm just a little worried 5 pounds might be too much. Everyone says the workouts are challenging, and I will definitely be starting with level 1. One lady was telling me how she used 10 pound weights (she teaches aerobics on a regular basis) and her husband and his friend could only use 5 pounds.....yeah that sounds intense.

Has anyone else had luck with Jillian Michael's videos? Or know of any other good workout videos they would love to share?

C.S. Mott Children Hospital

This past fall I was in Ann Arbor for another check up and after my early morning appointment was over my mother headed off to a work thing over in Detroit. She offered to take me along so I could sit around and do my homework, but the appeal of being able to spend the morning wondering around A2 alone won out in the end. I had my mom drop me off downtown and ventured out into the diag (basically the center of campus...I think). It must have been in the middle of classes because the traffic was light and I just kind of sat there for a while alone. Borders wasn't open till 10 and Starbucks was packed, so I just sat down on one of the stone benches. The temperature was just beginning to drop (high 40's probably) and it was starting to look like rain, but I didn't care. After a while I got a text from a friend and decided to meet up with her for some pumpkin spice while she studied for a test (I'm pretty sure I was more of a distraction, but I was thankful for something to do). When it came time for her to head to class, I headed back into the very center of the diag. By now it was lunchtime and people were everywhere, so I sat down on another bench and attempted to focus on reading "Sir Gwain and the Green Knight" (people watching was much more entertaining though). A few feet in front of me was a big teeter totter and students with signs asking passersby to donate to Mott Children's Hospital. One kid started yelling "DONATE TO MOTTS SAVE THE TOTS!".....which I thought was pretty catchy. I watched for almost an hour, as most people passed right on by, finally I got up to get out of the cold and dropped a 5 dollar bill in the bucket....I think the students were shocked, they all were very thankful for my donation. I realize as a broke college student, many people don't have a dollar or more to donate (and luckily my mom gave me $20 that day, or else I probably wouldn't be able to either).

Mott's has always been my home at the University of Michigan. I grew up following the animal paws on the wall that led us through the big scary maze. One animal led us to the Cranial Facial Clinic, one to the X-Ray people, and another to the surgery room. I even consider the giant Big Bird in the waiting room a friend (in a mentally healthy way of course). For those of you who don't know anything about the hospital at the University of Michigan, many of the cases they take on are unusual ones. Students are able to intern and do their residency there in order to learn how to handle cases such as mine. Cases that take time and care. I always find it funny when the new students meet me for the first time and realize I'm not longer one of the kids. Technically I should no longer be in that department, but I'm glad they're finishing what they started. When I spent those few weeks in the hospital during the summer of '08, all I wanted was to go home and "feel normal".....which basically meant get back to my normal routine and life. But looking around the 5th floor, I realized how many children spend not just weeks but months on end in the hospital. I am one of the lucky ones...and I remind myself of that every time I start to feel insecure or helpless. I'm healthy, I'm alive, I'm safe at home, and there will always be people who have it worse. Hospitals can be scary, especially as a little kid, but the nurses and all the staff are so comforting. It was Mott's that introduced me to art therapy, child life, and music therapy. Like I mentioned the other day, they bring in dogs to make people more comfortable and bring you gifts like your choice of books/magazines, handmade blankets, banners, and pillowcases. Things that make hospital rooms less like white boxes of doom, and more like an enjoyable place to be. The more comfortable a person is the sooner they will heal. Which is why I want to dedicate my life to giving back, helping kids just like myself get through the rough patches. Mott's holds such a special place in my heart and I hope someday I can repay all of the people that have helped me through what has been a long journey.

They have been working on building a bigger and better Mott's for probably over a year, and we just found out last week that they plan on moving in around the end of THIS YEAR! I'm so amazed at how fast the building came along. It will be so nice for each patient to have their own room and larger spaces in general.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back at Western

I'm back in Kalamazoo! Excited and glad, but also a little sad and a little nervous about the next couple of weeks. After surgery I've always had my mom there to remind me when to take my meds and what not to do (aka no drinking through straws, no hard foods). I love having my parents there to help me out, especially when I'm not feeling so great...I mean really who doesn't?
But I very much enjoyed my time in Traverse City...I can't believe it's been a month!
Even if I did spend most of it relaxing on the couch in my pajamas.

I just looked over the list I made of things I wanted to do during my break.....

My To Do List Over Break:

  • Catch up on Desperate Housewives (I'm basically still back in the middle of last season).....and yet now I'm somehow already 2 weeks behind lol
  • See a movie at the State Theater and eat lunch at Crema with Sandy!!!!....more like see a movie and have dinner at Pangeas (yum!)
  • Go sledding
  • Make a snowman (stupid Western doesn't allow them)
  • Bake some cookies
  • Make chip dip
  • Go for a midnight Meijer run for sushi
  • Celebrate Christmas
  • Celebrate New Years
  • Go to Red Ginger for sushi.....more like go to Firefly for sushi, but it still counts ;)
  • Have a girls night with Sandy and Chelsea.....I can kind of cross this one off too because we had a lovely girls lunch
  • Hug my friend after almost 4 months of not seeing her....Yes I'm talking about you Winnie!.....miss her so much!
  • Color with Gabby and Sam
  • Watch a bunch of Christmas movies
  • Take a bath
  • Hopefully go running....kinda hahahha
  • Take a yoga class
  • Get a haircut
  • Walk around downtown TC
  • Hot tub and girl talk at Ariana Joy's
  • See all of my extended family members 
  • Go to Espresso Bay for coffee
  • Dance!
  • Make Kraft Mac and Cheese
  • Get a new phone.....with texting :)

I didn't really accomplish many of the list items, actually I accomplished quite a few of my list items. I didn't do as much out doors as I was hoping.... and i didn't cook a whole lot (more appreciating my mother's cooking). I was not missing the cafeteria food, but I might lower my meal plan because last semester I hardly ever went to the cafe on the weekends.

Hope everyone else got done with the things they wanted to finish before school....and traveling back, all across the country wasn't too bad. Today was so sunny and gorgeous, it made for good travels.

Ugg off to bed, because I have a 9 o'clock class tomorrow (what was I thinking with these early classes?)

Friday, January 7, 2011

10 things....part 3

10 Things that make the day after surgery better.....

  1. Being able to eat again.....too bad I'm banned to "soft foods"(which in reality is fine because soup, pasta, and home made mashed potatoes are all good)
  2. Sprite/Ginger Ale......always soothing on the sore throat and stomach 
  3. Shower......getting clean always makes you feel better and fresher
  4. Favorite movies or TV shows on DVD or Blue Ray......always a nice distraction (like Doctor Who for example)
  5. Naps.....helps your body heal and you wake up feeling instantly better than before
  6. Staying in your PJ's....keep comfy and relaxed
  7. Becoming a fixture on your need to leave the house
  8. Medication.....of course you'll be in some amount of pain so keeping up on your medication is key to staying comfortable throughout the day
  9. Ice cream/ and soothing for a soar throat (such as mine....I don't think I've ever had it this bad, don't know why)
  10. Online shopping.....this is a good time to shop from your couch, retail therapy always makes me feel better

What Actually Happened Yesterday

The morning started off on schedule.

We headed out of the hotel a little after 10:30 to shop downtown.

We hit up Bivouac (one of my favorite places to shop!) They have everything from hiking and outdoorsy stuff to up scale/what you see on the celebs sweaters, jeans and much more (including a variety of gorgeous Marc Jacobs purses that I'm dying for) I found this AMAZING leather jacket there that was almost $400 but 40% off.....the whole store was 30 and 40% off! If I were working I would have totally bought that jacket, instead I found some running pants that I was able to pick up on sale for $40. I can't wait to test them out!

After that we headed over to Urban Outfitters (in which I just looked around.....did I mention how much I wanted a job again) and to American Apparel.

Then we trotted on over to Borders so I could pick up some new books with my gift card......Eat Pray Love
and Are You There Vodka it's Me Chelsea.

I've seen the Eat Pray Love movie and actually got it for Christmas because I loved it so much, but there's nothing like reading the original book. And I've heard really good things about all of Chelsea Handlers books, so when I so both of those in the buy one get one 50% off I knew I had to have them. (book reviews to come?) I still have to finish reading We the Living by Ayn Rand.

We arrived at the hospital at the scheduled 1:15 time for check in after driving all around the parking garage.....yesterday was packed!

They brought me down to pre-op where I suited up (hospital gowns are so stylish....not).

And then we waited......and waited. 2 o'clock came and went and no update? Luckily I was able to talk to Clancy (my favorite Child Life Specialist who I worked with during my weeks on the 5th floor after my jaw surgery) and an adorable dog named Annie came around to see some of the patients. Annie's specialty was hugs and her owner would lift her up into people's laps and she would put her front paws on either shoulder and lay her head on one side (pretty much the cutest thing ever!) When Annie came my way she got right up on the bed next to me and laid down her head on my lap. She was such a calm and lovable dog. Finally one of the nurses came over to inform us that things were running a bit behind and I wasn't on the board till 4 now. It happens, and we understood, but waiting all that time with no food I was starving! :(

After four we were told that my doctor had finally made it out of the previous surgery and they were just turning over the room for me. The anesthesiologist came and got the worst part of surgery over with.....finding a vein and getting the IV in. Luckily he got it after the second try (one of the better ones). Happy meds were pumped through my veins and off I went....

I think the scariest part is always when they take you in there and move you over to the tiny operating table, where they have to strap you in (which always makes me feel like a mental patient). Before I went in my very optimistic doctor told us he thought it would take half an hour (I was scheduled for an hour and a half), but it ended up taking 2 hours. They pulled an infected/problematic tooth in front of the gap for the new implant, which he believes was part of the past problems.

After I woke up.....apparently I slept for quite a while yesterday. My parents and I made the tough decision to just drive home last night. We almost stayed, but I just wanted to get home in my own bed. Unfortunately the roads last night were awful! I woke up half way there and the snow was heading straight at us and it was impossible to see (scary). But we made it home safely and I was thankful to just be back.

Hopefully this will be my last surgery and everything will work out perfectly this time :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Today's Agenda

  • Wake up at a piece of toast and drink apple juice before 6 am......unusual for surgery day. Most of the time I'm forbidden to eat anything after midnight the night before, but I guess since my surgery doesn't start till after noon it's okay.
  • Go back to sleep :)
  • Kill time by going downtown and doing some shopping....I love downtown Ann Arbor
  • Be at the hospital by 1:15.......we always have to wait for a call the day before surgery and they tell you what time the procedure is and what time you need to be there
  • Surgery is scheduled for 2:15
  • For an hour and a half
  • Recovery.....hopefully avoid getting sick
  • Then the long drive back to Traverse City
  • and maybe some much needed food

The worst part of the day for me is not the surgery but the needles. Needles suck and I have a totally irrational fear of them......that's gotten better(but it's still not all that great).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tomorrow is Another Step

For those of you who know me well, you already know about all my past surgeries and steps I've gone through for a better life and a better mouth. 2010 was supposed to bring the end, but of course something had to go always does. I'm so thankful that the one implant that decided to fail (twice) was the single lonely one on the left side of my mouth. Teeth are such a pain....ughhh. The doctor's told me last time that an implant failure almost never happens twice....guess i'm a lucky exception. This past spring they were able to do the procedure right in the office, but my doctor wants to do actual surgery this time and take a better look around. One of the things I hate most about surgery is being put out. It's nice to not remember anything and for it to be totally painless, but I usually get sick from the anesthesia :( Hopefully everything goes well tomorrow and they are able to figure out the problem. I can only hope this will all be over before I know it. 

How is everyone else spending their last days before the semester begins again? 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Haircut!

When I came home for Thanksgiving I was determined to get my hair cut, but it never ended up happening. So the task became the first item on my list of things to get done while I was home for winter break (and it still almost didn't happen). Everything was so busy during the holidays that calling for a haircut kept getting put off. Before I knew it I had one week left at home and was worried Sara would already be booked up.....luckily she had an opening.

During the last part of high school I cut my hair in a really short (for me) bob

I loved it even more after it grew out a in this picture.

I'd been thinking for a long time that I just wanted to chop all my hair off again, it's gotten so long and I was getting sick of dealing with it, but at the same time it was nice to be able to actually do my hair in different ways and have options for variety other than changing headbands. I wanted my new hair cut to be noticeable and different, but still be long for now. Last time I asked for something different but still long the girl just gave me a trim and no one knew I had cut my hair.

Which leads me to my decision.......bangs and layers.....but mostly bangs :) I walked out of Pavlova today with a smile on my face and a new confidence that comes with any nice physical change.

Before......don't I just look sick of this?

And after......soooo happy!!!!!

Hope you all like it as much as I do.
Anyone else get their hair cut for the new year?

Monday, January 3, 2011

21 Goals for 2011

I wasn't going to make actual resolutions this year, but then I just decided to do it anyway. I figure it's easier to remember and stick with your goals if they're shared and in front of you. Most of my resolutions this year are general and open. Everyone tells me that resolutions need to be micro and specific as a way to measure them, but I'm non conventional and don't care.

2011 Resolutions:

  1. Love myself------Love who I am and become more confident in my ideas and decisions. 
  2. Travel more------See other parts of the State/Country/World
  3. Get more sleep------Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night (this will be tough with 8 o'clock classes (yikes!)
  4. Meditate-----I get overwhelmed and stressed often, but being able to calm my mind at least 3 times a week will help.
  5. Train and run the Chicago Marathon-----Be able to run at least 10 miles by the time I run Bay Shore
  6. Save my money-----skip the extra coffee's and buying music, save up for traveling!
  7. Get a job-----I hate not having my own source of income anymore, or something to do
  8. Drink less pop----Soda is bad for you and it's not all that tasty
  9. Listen to all the songs in my iTunes Library-----I know this seems random, but I've been working at this for a while. I'm only just over a third of the way through listening to all the songs.....15500 of them
  10. Keep my GPA above a 3.5----Work for it!
  11. Get out of my house/dorm more-----I did a pretty good job of doing this last year, but I've been sitting around a lot lately. Just need to get out and appreciate the life around me
  12. Read more-----I want to try and get in at least one book a month
  13. Watch less television-----Helps with getting out and also my reading goals
  14. Work on my diction-----Most of the time I have to repeat myself to people because they can't understand me and I since I have a mouth full of teeth to help me now, this goal should easier than before
  15. Get a passport-----I'm a 20 year old without a passport.....I talk about traveling around the world, but without this it's never going to happen. Even if I just go to Canada, it's still worth the money
  16. Live more freely-----stop planning, start doing
  17. Focus on posture----ever since I stopped dancing, I've started slouching more and my posture has gone out the window
  18. Make things happen----this year if I want something to happen I have to make it the story of the Italian man who prayed everyday to win the lottery, and finally the statue he prayed under came to life and told him to buy a ticket (it's from Eat Pray Love)
  19. Join a student group----get involved, volunteer
  20. Dance----I miss dance so much and need to put it back in my life. I need to try and find a class for the summer, or maybe next fall at WMU
  21. Learn a different language----as a way to open up my world and learn new things.....possibly French?
That's a rather long list of goals for the year.....but the number worked out rather nicely (I'm turning 21 this resolution for each year I've been alive)

It's starting off with a new hair cut tomorrow :)

Did you make resolutions this year? What are they?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Quote for the New Year

On the last night of 2010 I had my friends Sam and Gabby over for some fun. My brother had big plans with his pals and my parents left shortly after we ate dinner. Sam, Gabby, and I skipped out last year on the Cherry-T Ball Drop and decided we should all go this year. We walked the short distance from my house to downtown (I love living where we do!) in the unusually warm weather (I was actually hot...and thankful it wasn't freezing). The streets were crowded with many joyful individuals, families, and groups of people who had probably partied a little too much (if that's possible?) Despite all the people, we managed to get a pretty close view. It basically looked like a red dot on a crane that didn't even lower all the way, but it was fun anyway. Right after the big drop, the radio started playing a few amazing dance songs that everyone proceeded to sing along too......gotta love a street party!

And now on to the subject of the post:

"There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the 
flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound up in sorrows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves -- or lose our ventures.”- William Shakespeare

I first heard this quote during the graduation episode of One Tree Hill. The words really struck me and I was reminded of it again when I graduated high school. To me the quote represents new beginnings and what can be made from them. As we kick off the start of a brand new year, I am in deep thought of the goals I want to accomplish over the next twelve months. I plan on making the most of this year and really living in the moment.

So I urge everyone to go after your goals and dreams this year. Make things happen, because it could be your only chance.

Happy New Year.....Welcome to 2011!