thursday

Thinking Out Loud: to tan or not to tan

Better late than never! Let’s get those Thursday Thoughts out there.

First things first:

Can we please bring back the high-waisted workout leotards? Can you imagine? Crossfit boxes would be forever changed.

My new apartment downtown is closest to a Jewel so I’ve started going there recently in the burbs to get used to shopping at any store that isn’t Trader Joe’s. It was tough but I powered through somehow. I’ve been trying to focus on those damn veggies lately because I know that this time of year I pretty much just want to roast potatoes, cover them in cheese and call it a veggie. So a veggie-fied week it was.

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The loot included: sweet potatoes, white beans, coconut La Croix, bean sprouts, carrots, plain 2% greek yogurt, tuna, green beans, avocado, spaghetti squash, bananas, brussel sprouts and fingerling potatoes. But of course there are some things only TJ can provide so I swung by there afterwards.

The usual suspects: Ezekiel bread, British muffins, white bean basil hummus, soy creamer, chicken, pb pretzels and liquid stevia.unnamed (9)

Plus some new friends: coconut cream (not sure how I’m going to use this), garlic simmering sauce and coconut oil cooking spray.

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And some of the best nuts I’ve ever had. If I ever overdraft on my checking account it will because I can’t control myself around da nuts (that’s what she said). But seriously – those thai lime & chili cashews are killer.

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On the workout front, I started back up at a Crossfit box downtown (okay technically it’s not Crossfit because there’s not Olympic lifts but I’m not sure what else to call it. I’m sure the Crossfit police are out there monitoring the internet for every misuse of the word Crossfit so I guess I’ll just call it bootcamp).

We arrived to a seriously fun tabata workout. We started off with a sprint warm-up which reminded me of my old basketball days when I would get suuuuper competitive with everyone around me and try to win every time we had to run suicides. The workout then consisted of 20/10 work/rest increments of power balls, v-ups, broad jumps, rows and man makers or burpees (your choice – I chose burpees. Not because I have a death wish but because I didn’t understand what man makers are and I didn’t want to look like a fool).

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Oh my gosh it was a BALL. The only downside: I’m STILL sore. I took a rest day Wednesday because I legitimately couldn’t think of a workout to do that wouldn’t make my body cry. That was one full-body workout. Oh, and broad jumps are my new favorite thing. If you need me I’ll be doing them in my kitchen.

I need your help. Thoughts and opinions, please. I have terrible, terrible skin. Acne on the face and eczema on the arms. Yep I’m just that blessed. With that being said it always hits its peak horrible-ness (I’m really going for a Pulitzer prize today, aren’t I?) this time of year and I’m just sick of it. I’m tired of wearing long sleeve shirts all winter. I’m tired of being embarrassed at the gym in tank tops. I’m sick of itching my arms constantly and wondering if I have any red patches on the back of my arms that I can’t see. I’m sick of lathering on six creams before bed. So, I’m seriously considering going to a tanning bed once a week or once every two weeks. I know, I know, CANCER BOX. But I also have spoken with a dozen people or so who say that, like anything in life, moderation is key. I even spoke to one woman who said her dermatologist recommended a tanning bed twice a month to help clear up her eczema. What are your thoughts of tanning beds to help skin problems like this? I would love to hear all opinions, but would appreciate personal experience and/or educated comments even more, thanks! I have no intention of becoming the next “Tan Mom” but I’d love to not hide my arms like an amish woman for the next five months.

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I don’t know how much I talked about it last week but my mom’s knee surgery went well – she’s kicking butt (not literally, of course, with the new knee and all 😉 ). I have no doubt in my mind that her 25-pound weight loss helped immensely. It makes me so proud to see her taking control of her health. This is EXACTLY why I want to be a personal trainer. I spent years and years with my fingers crossed, hoping my parents would get on board with eating healthy and being active. Once you know how amazing that kind of lifestyle is, you just want to go up to everyone who’s not doing those things and just shake them, saying YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW GREAT THIS FEELS! But you just can’t. The healthy living journey is something that people can only fully appreciate once they make the decision for themselves. There’s a little mental switch that needs to be flipped. So now that I’m seeing my parents fall in love with vegetables, cooking, and portion control, it makes my heart smile a little bit. Not to mention I want them to be around for a longgggg time, so this new lifestyle only helps. I can’t wait to be a certified personal trainer so I can help people who take that first step and decide they want a healthier lifestyle, and walk with them through their journey.

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I’m going ham on that frittata, folks. Sometimes I want to share recipes because I have a mini panic attack that I haven’t shared one for awhile and, what kind of blogger would I be without sharing a good recipe every now and then? But this one is truly one of the best things I’ve ever come up with in the kitchen. I’m so proud. It’s like my little frittata baby.

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I typed in Frittata Baby into google and all I got was a baby eating frittata.

I go into work for six hours without my phone and this is what I come out to. Friends, you are hysterical. Reading through a group text that you haven’t been a part of for half a day is basically the same as watching a 30-minute sitcom on TV, so thanks for that.

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It’s officially winter in Chicago. I broke out my blizzard parka yesterday and it was glorious. We also have legwarmers at lululemon now so I’m thinking it’s going to be a flashback to an 80s winter this year. It’s also the season of “I don’t need any more coffee in my body but damnit I really need to hold a cup of coffee to keep my fingers from falling off.”

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And finally,  a quick story. I temporarily joined a gym in the suburbs three years ago via Groupon. It was an amazing bootcamp-style workout that my friend and I took advantage of when we were home on winter vacation from college. I could tell from the beginning that the owner was salty about us “Groupon-users” but he was always pretty kind and helpful so I chose to ignore it. On our last day, however, I’ll never forget how he went into a rant to the whole class as we were jumping rope about how Groupon users were taking advantage and not serious about the program. IN FRONT OF US. It was so random and completely inappropriate. 1) YOU are the one who put up an offer on Groupon. If you don’t want people to use it, don’t do it. 2) Why would you EVER say that kind of stuff in front of the people who did nothing wrong except buy a Groupon? At least wait until we’re gone to trash talk us. My friend and I were absolutely mortified and I’ve resented that gym ever since. Why am I telling you this? Because I’ve been on his listserv ever since so I’ve been getting 3+ years of fitness advice, workouts and recipes sent to me for free. And I just had to express the poetic justice in that. I know it’s immature but every time an email from him comes through I just feel this evil grin come onto my face. Free stuff for an advantageous Groupon user? Don’t mind if I do.

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Question:

  • Tanning beds: GO!
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Thinking Out Loud: franken fraps and waterboarding

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It’s been a hot minute since I’ve shared the random ramblings that go on inside this (oversized) noggin of mine, so let’s just jump right in.

1) Let’s set the mood. I couldn’t pick between these three songs so you get ’em all:

2) I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning, determined to hit 6 miles before the majority of people would see me dying on the side of the road on their way to work. It was freezing. Winter is coming, Chicago. I’m here to tell you.

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Lucky for me cold weather running is my jam and I made that six miles my b***h 😀

3) I am incapable of washing my face and not making a mess. A total mess. I get water like two feet from the sink, get mascara all over my towels and go to bed with facewash in my ears. IN MY EARS. Did I just not learn how to wash my face right? Was this a lesson they gave while I was in speech therapy? It gives me anxiety when I stay over at someone else’s place because a) why is everyone’s sink so small?! and b) where in the world does their mascara go?! Clearly not on the pristine white hand towels that everyone seems to have.

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4) Speaking of speech therapy, fun fact: I had a speech impediment growing up. I sound like a normal human these days but back then S’s were tricky and I couldn’t for the life of me say the letter R. That was a real treat because my name has an R in it. I even called my aunt rich once and hurt her feelings, having just been called a “witch” by her niece. The word “world” is still tricky for me to say to this day. So let’s just say I’ll never be writing a novel called “The World According to Lauren.”

5) I realized after spending lots of time reading all your blogs and commenting yesterday, that I included the word “literally” in, literally, every comment. Guys I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me. Things were getting real literal in the blog world, apparently.

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6) I haven’t had wine in a full week. That’s SEVEN MOONS’ TIME. Funny how six months ago I didn’t touch wine – but when I was dealing with all that ish this past summer wine became my best friend. Weird how I now notice the time I DON’T have a wine glass in my hand, and not the other way around.

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7) I had a sleepover the other night. At a personal chef’s house. I came home from work and this was waiting for me in the fridge:

unnamed (26)A beautiful Greek salad with my NAME written on it. I felt like the queen of England. I need to continue to make friends with like this. These are my people. They just get me.

8) I can’t wait for Halloween. Scratch that – I can’t wait for Halloween 2020. When I’m a a real adult and can throw real holiday parties where people send out cute Etsy invites three weeks ahead of time and people actually RSVP and you make six hundred adorable Pinterest-inspired apps and have costume contests. Right now is not a good time to be a holiday lover. 50% of people my age want to dress up as a slutty minion from Despicable Me and the other 50% don’t want to do anything. Not a fan of this middle ground. I want apple bobbing and beer tasting, eating donuts that are hanging on strings from the tree in my front yard and handing out candy to kids when they ring the doorbell. So basically I want my Halloween to be straight out of an episode of 7th Heaven.

9) Speaking of Hallween did you all see this??

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The limited-edition Franken Frappuccino is a Green Tea Frappuccino with peppermint syrup, white chocolate sauce, java chips and topped with whipped cream and mocha drizzle. To celebrate the spooky holiday Starbucks is serving these creations for $3 for a grande after 2 p.m. today and tomorrow. I’ve never been a huge frappuccino fan but in the spirit of the holidays I’m definitely going to get one. I’ll let you all know how it goes!

10) I decided to make some money on the side by participating in focus groups in Chicago. Well I’ve been at it for two days now and I am officially qualified for ZERO focus groups. So…either I’m an awesome/unique individual whose life just can’t be quantified, or I’m a loser.

That was a LOT of rambling. If you made it to the bottom I’ve officially succeeded as a blogger, as I’ve kept you entertained longer than a standard YouTube video. My work here is literally done!

Questions:

  • Are you a holiday lover? Do you throw any cool parties for any specific holiday?
  • Will you try the Franken Frap?
  • Anyone else make a complete mess whenever they wash their face?
  • Any fellow speech class peeps?

TOL: there’s a mouse in my house + prenatal vitamins

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Running is finally getting easier!!! I can bust out 4-5 miles like it’s nothing. I mean it’s something but hey I don’t have to bring my rescue inhaler with me anymore #winning

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There’s a mouse in my house.

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I’ve seen it twice – and only screamed like there was a psycho killer in my house the first time. The second time I gave him the head nod and went about my business. Thank god I have cats (is that evil?)

It’s officially leggings as pants season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Suck it, haters!

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I hate that expensive candles are the only ones that really smell. I spent $25 on a candle from Bath and Body works and it makes my whole house smell like a pumpkin patch within minutes. Being the fiscal conservative that I am I did NOT want to fork over that kind of cash again, so I went with a small autumn candle from Kohl’s. Well it’s been lit for five hours now and it’s just now starting to work its magic. I am not pleased. I guess another trip to The Works is in order sooner rather than later.

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Chocolate chips have become my new go-to dessert. They’re cheap, easy, and delicious, just how I like my men.

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Hopefully that GIF didn’t give you epilepsy. If so don’t bother suing I have no money. But I can ship you some chocolate chips overnight?

There are some serious words of wisdom floating around the internet this week. I’m feeling so inspired.


unnamed (5)unnamed (9)What I take out of these:

  • Life is all about perspective – change your perspective, change your world.
  • Be present – wherever you are, be all there. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching TV on a Wednesday night with your friends or at a dinner party – just BE there.
  • Take things at your own pace – there’s no rule book for anything. Quit trying to figure out what you “should” do.
  • Eat breakfast. Because there’s literally nothing better than breakfast.

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I have the best banana bread recipe that I would love to share with you but seriously how many more “amazing” banana bread recipes do we HLBs need? (but for real my recipe has millet and slivered almonds in it so that makes it different and unique and special right right right?!)

Reading all of your marathon recaps from this past weekend finally convinced me to take the plunge and train for Chicago next year! I loved reading all about the emotional rollercoaster that is marathon training and, call me crazy, but I want all of it. All the ice baths, all the post-run stretching, all the carb-loading and the early Friday nights. It’s gonna be a parrrrrrty!

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And last but not least, prenatal vitamins.

Have any of you taken these when you’re not pregnant? Yay or nay? Some women at work have touted it as a good supplement for my hair loss, brittle nails and general lack of energy lately. But then of course the internet says I’m going to die. So please give me your two cents.

vitaminsQuestions:

  • What’s your favorite dessert lately?
  • Ever heard of women taking prenatal vitamins without being pregnant?
  • Do you really think quality of life is a matter of perspective? 

thinking out loud – why is my hair falling out, who do I tip, and what do women want?

Happy #thinkingoutloud thursday!

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It’s haaaaappennnning!

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I usually hate stopping while I run (it makes my legs automatically feel like tree trunks the minute I start to run again) but I just couldn’t miss capturing the beautiful scenery during my five miles yesterday. There’s nothing better than a pullover sweatshirt, laced-up sneakers, music and that crisp autumn air.

I followed this lady’s recipe a few days ago and ended up with the world’s most perfect muffins (minus the craisins, plus millet = perfection). Never used millet before? Try it. It makes everything perfectly crunchy, exactly what fluffy baked goods need 🙂

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I’m pretty sure my hair is falling out. I know that most women think that’s true, but I’m starting to worry, as I think I pull out a good clump or two of hair every time I blow dry it. What’s happening?! Is there a food I can eat or vitamin I can take to fix this? I also have very brittle nails…are these two things connected? I know I could easily Google it but every time I Google health symptoms it’s usually followed with a hysterical email to my doctor paranoid that I’m dying of some kind of incurable disease. Halp!

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I am unprepared to be an adult. There are so many unanswered questions. For instance, what does “writing something off” on your tax form mean? I understand the words, I understand the idea, I just really DON’T UNDERSTAND IT. If you hire men to deliver a couch from Crate and Barrel and pay a $50 shipping fee, do you still have to throw the guys a $20 or something when they deliver it? What’s kosher? If you get your hair cut and styled do you have to tip the person who shampoos you and then tip your stylist too? Who gets what, and how much?! Do I ever REALLY need a credit card?  It’s so stressful. Not a fan of these questions. I’m going to stay 23 forever, okay?

Did you hear about the latest “WTF were you thinking” story? It has to do with everyone’s favorite show (okay, everyone’s “I’m sick on the couch and there’s nothing on at 3pm in the afternoon, favorite) Jeopardy!

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Right away you know it’s going to be bad when this is the category title. Well, that, and the average viewer’s age is 65. Here are some of the answers:

xxfciaryzcgn3kjzk1ig…..What is, a crossword puzzle.

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…..what is, a vacuum.

For the love of almighty god.

What Women Want: not equal pay, not power over my own body, not equal access to education, not freedom to walk down the street in whatever I want to wear without fear, not an engineering degree OR a spot on the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading squad (because it’s my choice).

Nope. Women want a few moments of peace and quiet (from, I’m assuming, our bumbling, overweight and unappreciative husband and two kids) for a crossword puzzle and some help with the freaking vacuum cleaner.

Ok rant over. But seriously – this would’ve turned heads in 1995. It’s 2014. What in the world were those producers thinking? (And if they WERE thinking, touche, PR team, touche. Way to get some free press).

I’m seeing Gone Girl tonight!!! Is anyone else going this weekend? I used Fandango for the first time in my life, out of fear that the Thursday night showings would sell out and I’d be forced to wait until Friday night (unfathomable). I’m going to try my best not to post spoilers but I seriously can’t wait. They rewrote the entire third part of the novel for the film so I have no idea how it’s going to end. Which is crazy considering I spent much of the third part literally yelling at my book, it was that good. So, so good.

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SPOOKY, right? I can’t wait 🙂

Oh, finally,

There’s a 99% chance I’m going to this lady’s concert by myself in a few weeks.

I bought two tickets at the beginning of summer, back when I thought I knew everything and exactly where I’d be on a Tuesday night in October. Nowadays I’m letting the tides flow where they may, so as of now I’m either putting out an ad on Craigslist or you can prepare yourselves for pics of me riding solo at the House of Blues. But in all seriousness if any local ladies have some Betty Who love hit me up and we can make an evening out of it 😉

What’s on your mind this Thursday? What’s the best workout you’ve had this week? When was the last time you saw a movie in theaters, and what was it? Got any answers for my “losing hair/brittle nails” debacle? What do you think women want?