About Me...

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Cincinnati, OH, United States
I'm a scientist , yogi, book worm, scifi junk, and I'm a little obsessed with my pup. My life is full of discovery both in the lab and out of the lab. This blog is my place to share my experiences as a person trying to stay happy and healthy in this crazy world.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New year, new possibilities

This year has flown by. I know that I start the year out full of hope of the new year's possibilities, and it seem to pass by so quickly. That being said, I've still achieved a lot this year.

The final week of December and first week of January are very reflective. I've yet to organize all my goals for the new year (next week for sure), but I fell proud of what I've accomplished towards my goals from last year. In the coming week I look forward to reviewing the past year and planning for the new year. Of course I will share my new goals, which will help me stay motivated to achieve them.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

New traditions...

It's Christmas morning and I'm sitting with a nice hot cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll thinking about how Christmas for me has changed in the last few years.  This year I've gained a husband and we've been creating new traditions that we can share with our family. Christmas 2011 is our first "married" Christmas and it has already been different than others.

Like most changes in life, creating new traditions is bittersweet.  My initial image of Christmas will always be the childhood Christmas's where I woke up way too early and waited patiently (or impatiently depending of what I thought Santa was bringing me) for everyone else to get up so we could tear into our presents.  Christmas afternoon was always spent at my grandparents home with our extended family.  Recently, we've spent Christmas at my Mom and step-dad's home about 3 hours away from here.  Last year and this year they have been traveling so we spend Christmas our home.

Our decorations are up, presents are wrapped, and the stockings are stuffed.  Our tree may be small but it still illuminates the room in wonderful white lights.  To make the tree special we bought an ornament to mark our first christmas together and plan to do this every year.  I think it will be wonderful when we are older to share the story of each ornament with our children as we trim the tree.  Of course, I also have the nutcracker sitting out that my grandmother gave me from her collection before she passed away.

We're making a ham and loads of veggies, and for dessert we have a french pear tart.  A big meal on Christmas is one tradition I can not change.  Another addition to our tradition, is giving presents to our pets.  Our dog has been trying to sniff his presents this year, but they are placed just high enough he can  not reach them.  He's getting a real bone, which is pretty much doggie heaven to him and a few other yummy treats!  (shhhh....don't tell him)

I hope all of you have a wonderful Holiday and celebrate being with the ones you love.  Rejoice in new and old traditions.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Paving the way to the Disney Marathon...

Yesterday I completed the last REALLY long training run in preparation for the Disney marathon.  Let's just say I'm paving the way with my blood, sweat, and tears.

After doing 4 hours of yoga at a yoga bootcamp on Saturday I was just a bit sore on Sunday, so I decided to put my 20 mile run off until Monday before work.  I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m.!! to eat something and head out bright and early.  I was out on the road by 5 am.

Hesitant is not even close to how I felt, more like terrified!  Earlier in the week my hip had been so tight that it was painful to run more than 13 minute miles for 3 miles.  After loads of massaging with lacrosse balls, foam roller, and yoga my hip finally relaxed.  I keep blaming my hip....really it was my back....I've said it before...I like to pretend I don't have a back problem.  I had to have a discussion with myself last week and face the music!

I completed the 20 miles averaging about 11 minute miles, although slower than I usually run I was just happy to get it finished.

Today all the physical activities have culminated into screaming quads and hamstrings.  I'm dreaming of my massage tomorrow evening!  Now, it's taper time the best and worst part of marathon training.  Tapering requires a lot of mental toughness and confidence in your training.

Less than 3 weeks until Disney, and I get to see Mickey in real life!!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday snacks that are healthy and not....

This is my healthy go to snack...
Homemade chewy granola bars! These granola bars are inspired by the whole foods recipe for chewy granola balls.  
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted coconut (toasted for about 5 minutes at 350F)
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup nuts (I used part peanut and part almonds, which is what I had on hand)
1/2 cup honey

Warm almond butter and honey in sauce pan and once the ingredients are warm and mixed then add the additional goodies. 

Spread the mixture out on foil/parchment paper and allow to cool.  Then, cut into bars and enjoy!

Now onto the yummy not so healthy holiday snack.  Peppermint bark!!! Peppermint bark is very easy to make.  

2 packages dark melting chocolate
2 packages vanilla melting chocolate/candy coating
1 package candy canes (crushed)

Melt dark chocolate in saucepan on low heat then spread out in a 1/4 layer sheet on aluminum foil/parchment paper and let it cool. 

Then, do the same thing with the vanilla candy coating and pour on top of the dark chocolate. 

While the top layer of melting chocolate is still warm add the crushed up candy canes. You can also add some of the very finely crushed candy canes to the vanilla melting choc  before pouring over the dark chocolate.  We found that using a blender to crush the candy canes works very well!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like christmas...

I respect christmas, but in it's proper time and place.  Thanksgiving deserves to be observed with our full attentions.  Therefore, christmas festivities are not allowed to begin until Dec. 1st at the earliest!  I know it's an arbitrary rule, but just humor me.

Several days ago I started to complain about christmas music being played while I was out shopping, then I realized we are well into christmas so my complaining would go against my own rule.  With that in mind, it also meant it's time to start decorating my own humble abode for the upcoming holidays.  Admittedly, I still have my pumpkins on display in the kitchen.  (We didn't carve them so they stayed fresh.)

I bit the bullet and put up our tree, garland, and tiny 2nd tree.  The tiny 2nd tree sits where the pumpkins are displayed, so I had to do some pumpkin seed harvesting.  The pumpkin seed roasting marked the definitive end to fall festivities and beginning of the winter holidays.
The tree and pumpkin seed roasting...
Loads of baking is in store for the weekend!  I may dabble in viewing some of my fave christmas movies such as elf and charlie brown christmas.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pinterest obsession....

It's official....I'm addicted to Pinterest.  If you love idea boards you will love pinterest.  Basically, there are tons of images (pins) that you can organize into pin boards.  Also, you can like pins and peruse pin boards of other members.

I love that you can see pins about any topic including fashion, fitness, humor, travel, photography, and TONS more.

It's my new favorite place to waste time on the internet.  Here are a few pins I'm admiring lately...

Monday, December 5, 2011

20 miler and other happenings last week....

Before I get to the run that consumed my Saturday morning, I wanted to share what else happened last week.  After battling a headaches for two days at the beginning of the week, I enjoyed some R & R by attending the performance of Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO).  The concert rocked from start to finish filled with lasers, fire, and head banging (not by me).  Of course they played all of their holiday classics plus many more, making for an energetic nonstop 2 1/2 show.
Saturday morning I headed out on the first 20 mile run of this marathon training session.  I was very nervous before I headed out since my hip had been very tight all week, and it was causing a bit of trouble.  Running slow and steady got me through the whole 20 miles.  Fueling went well and I was able to explore a few new routes since I was using runkeeper to keep track of my mileage.  
I took a nice cold/felt like ice bath and stretched a TON, and my legs aren't too sore today.  The plan is to do another 20 miler in two weeks, and the other plan is to do lots of yoga to keep my hips stretched.  The disney marathon is about a month away, so naturally I'm excited and extremely nervous about it.  The plane tickets are purchased, the hotel is arranged, and the registration fee is paid for.  Time to get serious and try to stay injury free!