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.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Being thankful...

Finishing the 40 days to personal transformation has been a challenge.  The excavation questions during each week dug deep into how I felt about a lot of situations in my life.  Some of the questions seem benign, such as, when do you feel most alive? While other questions dug more deeply, How much do I believe in myself, and how much does this play out in my everyday life?  While answering the questions, I attempted to be the most honest and genuine with each specific question.  Not surprisingly, I found some recurring themes and patterns to my thoughts and feelings about things in my life.  Combining these thought provoking questions with daily yoga and meditation was in fact transforming.  I have to admit, that I didn't stick to the program fully due to having a busy life with other obligations.  

I feel like I went through a great therapy session and a little bootcamp at the same time.  I feel stronger both mentally and physically.  The program ended right before thanksgiving, and all the reflection made me even more thankful this year then in years past. 

Spending time really contemplating the things in my life has made me feel so much more calm and "ok" with everything.  I've found some acceptance.  That being said....I'm no buddha or enlightened creature, but I feel more equipped for life.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

3 day fruit fast

As part of the Baron Baptiste 40 days to a personal transformation I did a 3 day fruit fast this week.  I started the three days with a preponderance of fruit that I thought I would never be able to consume in 3 days, turns out I was wrong.  When it's the only thing you are eating, you end up consuming a lot to get enough calories.

There are some foods we usually classify as vegetables that are actually fruits such as avocados, peppers, tomatoes, and squashes.  Butternut squash and peppers were great for some hot foods.  I also got some dates to eat to satisfy those cravings for chewy foods.

The first day of the fast wasn't too bad and the thing I missed the most was caffeine.  Day 2 was more tough then day 1.  I woke up with a headache so I drank half a cup of black coffee.  Alas, I had the headache all day and felt exhausted and fuzzy all day.  I walked across the street and realized I never actually checked the crosswalk sign....so I was really fuzzy.  I went to bed super early that night with a splitting headache.  Day 3 was the best day.

I missed caffeine and oatmeal the most during this process.  The process has allowed me to gain more understanding of my actual hunger and when I'm full.  I've become more aware of my body and what it needs.

Friday was my first day eating "regular" food again, and I got a almond milk mocha from coffee emporium.  I appreciated and savored every sip of that drink!  The hardest part of the 40 days program is over, now I can focus on the meditation and the yoga.

p.s. All the yoga is helping me recover from the marathon much more quickly! :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon review ...

I'm nearly fully recovered from running the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon last Saturday.  This race was well organized and a flat course.  Honestly, I chose this particular race because it was described as flat.  After running the half-marathon for this race three years ago, I wanted to revisit the city in the state I grew up in and run the full marathon. 

The morning of the race was very cool and crisp with a small chance of rain.  As the race was starting I watched the sun rise.  The course was just as advertised, flat.  The most enjoyable section of the course was running through the indianapolis art museum grounds.  

Around mile 18 it started sleeting, then light rain at mile 20, and complete down pour for about the last mile or more.  Normally, during a marathon I would have gotten very upset and been tempted to start walking.  Luckily, I was mentally very strong for this race, which allowed me to push through.  

I finished in 4:30:13.  I'm very excited about my time and how I felt during and after the race.  

As I finished I saw a friend and Jonah waiting for me at the finish!  Being in Indianapolis allowed us to see some of our dear friends before and after the race.  

Overall, great race and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to run a flat course.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The last 6 weeks or so in review...

A lot has happened in the last 6 weeks during my little hiatus from the blog.  Don't get me wrong the "a lot" that's happened is not dramatic just full of events.

Training for the marathon on Nov. 3 reached its peak in the past month or so.  I finished a 20 and 22 mile run.  My final long run before beginning the taper period of training was supposed to be about 23 miles, but I stopped early due to a cramp in my calf.  I'm glad I did since I ended up not having any lasting effects of the cramp.  Jonah was a great sport and came to pick me up after the cramp which occurred at mile 16 and I was at least a few miles out from home.

Last week I began a new challenge, which is the Baron Baptiste 40 days to personal transformation.  I've been practicing yoga at a baptiste power yoga studio in Cincinnati, and I wanted to go further into the practice and explore more thoroughly into the intellectual side of the practice.  Right now I'm on day 4 and things are going well and I'm hoping for some personal growth through the program.  Coincidentally, the program ends two days before my 30th birthday.  The end of another decade of life is a great time for reflection and growth.  Below are some images from a few of our adventures as of late...enjoy

Reds game

Joey Chestnut won the brat eating contest for the third year in a row at Zinzinnati Oktoberfest

Serious pretzels at the Zinzinnati Oktoberfest

Relaxing fall afternoon at a Kentucky Winery.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

The tale of two 18 mile runs ...

Two weeks ago the training schedule for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon called for the first 18 mile run.  The weather was nice and cool with really low humidity, and got up early to head out to the little miami trail.  I used cliff shot blocks and cliff shots for fueling and no stomach issues, and I had just enough water to get me through the entire run feeling properly hydrated.  After a quick ice bath, I was able to get out and do a few things for the day.

Then, this past weekend it called for another 18 mile run.  Although the distance was the same, and I was going to run it on a flat course, but in Lexington this time, this 18 miler was a totally different story.

First of all it was humid and the sun was out full force.  Luckily, the cliff brand fueling supplies agreed with me again.  I think I'll stick with this brand.  At mile 10 I had to stop and refill my water bottles, and I was already drenched from sweating.  After I ran-walked the last 4 miles, I made it home exhausted and happy to be done.  This run also added to my "runner" tan, which makes it look like I'm always wearing a tanktop and shorts and a little pink across my nose, even though I wore SPF 50!

Logically, the weather makes a huge difference in how you feel during a training run, but I just couldn't believe the contrast.  Luckily, the run two weeks ago went really well and I can reassure myself that I have the endurance built up to continue training.

This week is a shorter run of 10 miles, and we are doing the extreme rampage obstacle course in Lexington.  Then, the following week is a 20 miler.

Happy training!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Taking Yoga Principles off the Mat...

There's a sense of calm you take with you at the end of a yoga class.  Recent studies have shown that yoga helps to calm your nervous system, which is a much needed thing since we are always over stimulating ourselves with the electronic world around us.

This calm and connection gained through yoga has been following me as I leave the studio.  That's the great thing about yoga, all of the skills used in a successful yoga practice can be re-tapped into during our lives outside the studio.

I'm in a life transition right now, looking for postdoc positions and trying to finish my research project.  The hubs and pup might tell you I've been stressed, but it would be so much worse without yoga.  Deep breathing and a little patience has kept me from going a bit crazy.  I've also found that yoga has helped slow my mind so I can process thoughts and feelings better by tuning into how I feel, and how others feel resulting in more empathy.

Although it's a great work out, Yoga traditionally encompasses an expanse of spiritual principles. These small changes in my life only scratch the surface of what yoga can bring into someone's life.  I hope by sharing what yoga brings to my life in the day-to-day will inspire someone to give yoga a try and experience this therapeutic effect as well.

p.s. it's also not about being super flexible, it's about being where your body is and connecting in the moment, so don't let that hold you back.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Post Exercise Ice Bath ...

For the past few years, I've taken an ice bath after a long, hard run.  An ice bath consists of a bathtub filled with cold water and a varying amount of ice. They are taken immediately post exercise and it's recommended that you stay in them for 5-10 minutes.

Well, after hearing some controversy about whether an ice bath is actually beneficial, I decided to do a little investigating of my own.

Here's what I found out.  Taking an ice bath post intense workout will not make your muscle repair any faster from the tears created from the workout.  However,  an ice bath will reduce the physical pain created by DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

The verdict:  I still take ice bathes so that it eases my pain and so I can get up and move around the following several days without wincing.  I took an "ice bath" after the 18 mile training run this past weekend (which felt really great, by the way).  My pseudo-ice bath was just a bath of cold water from the faucet, and it still did the job.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Don't be afraid to break the mold in sports and life...

Today I came across a commercial I had seen once or twice before, but today it really stuck with me.  Here are a few scenes from the commercial:

Courtesy of Nike
Courtesy of Nike

It's a nike commercial about women in sports.  It's hard to imagine that in my lifetime women have been kept from participating in certain sports.  

We are lucky to have a great women who pushed beyond the barriers to create the world we have now, full of potential for every little girl to do whatever she wants.  The reason this stuck with me so much today, is that I've been thinking about my career.  Women in science faced similar prejudices as women in sports.  My life would be so different if I lived in a culture where women can not participate in sports or science, since they take up the majority of my time.  

So, get out there and be happy that your life can break the mold and be an example of possibility for someone else.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fun in the sun ...

Good friends and good times sums up the weekend. We were able to have a lovely day on Lake Monroe with the same friends we went to the zoo with last weekend. Being around friends you've had for so long is comforting, especially since our lives are in such transition right now.

While on the lake, we tubed. I honestly have not tubed since I was a kid, an it was a blast. We were so lucky, since the weather was amazing. Even with SPF 50 I think I still got a heathy dose of vitamin D.

Then, Sunday morning I enjoyed watching the men's olympic marathon with momo and watched the closing ceremonies with Jonah in the pm.
(There's so many events I still need to watch, do its like the Olympics haven't ended yet.)

The adventures this weekend left us (including phil-dog) feeling loved by friends and exhausted from all the fun.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Using the Olympics as fitness motivation ...

As I was out doing a long run on Saturday morning in the oppressive humidity, my mind was grasping for some reason to keep going.  The thought I settled on was the Olympics, and all the incredible athletes who were competing for a once in a life time experience.  If those athletes can put themselves through a lifetime of grueling workouts, then I can make it a few more miles to complete a 15 mile marathon training run.  

From the Denver Post
Watching the fine tuned athletes compete in any olympic event has been very motivating.  Given, I'm no where near an olympic athlete, but I love being active.  Their performances make me want to be better and strive toward a greater goal.  Since I'm a runner the track and field athletes are by far my favorite of the summer games.  

Oscar Pistorius
This last Sunday was the women's marathon!  My friend Morgan did a nice summary on her blog.  We were fortunate, as friends who run marathons together, to watch two friends run a marathon together, Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan.  If the marathon isn't your event, don't worry there are tons of other runners to keep an eye out for motivation from a stunning performance.  

In the 10,000 meters there's Galen Rupp, who got the silver.  The inspirational story of Oscar Pistorius is all over the olympics as a 400 meter runner with prosthetics.  In the hurdles is the ever exciting Lolo Jones, and the decathlon is the world record holder Ashton Eaton.  

Tune into the olympics and get motivated to have a healthy, active life, and to experience some of the greatest competition in the world.  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Granola balls ...

I LOVE granola bars.  They usually combine a few of my favorite things: sugar, oats, sometimes chocolate, and fruit.  

Since so many processed foods, including granola bars, also have a lot of other junk in them as well I've been buying Lara bars and Odwalla bars.  Both of these bars and super tasty but also a bit pricey.  My simple solution is making my own granola bars, well I was inspired by the fit foodie finds blog and a recipe I found on the whole foods website for granola/power balls.  (the funny name helped too)
This week I made a small batch and here's the recipe that I used:
1/4 cup of almond butter (chunky)
1/8 cup honey
1 cup oats
1/8 cup coconut (shaved)
hand full of pecans
palm full of dark chocolate chunks (I know, my measuring is really precise)

Combine honey and almond butter in a sauce pan over medium heat until almond butter is melted with honey, remove from heat

Mix in oats and all the other goodies

you can mix the chocolate in here or you can wait for it to cool a bit depending on if you want it in chunks or mixed throughout.  I chose to have melted chocolate.  

Roll the mixture into about 1 inch balls (sort of like you do for peanut butter or snickerdoodle cookies) and let them cool on wax paper. 

My creation from this week, tastes very much like chocolate odwalla bars!  

Give them a try!  Add whatever dried fruit or nuts you like to the mixture to create a custom snack.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympics 2012 are here!

The summer olympics combine all the sports that have captivated by attention since a child and cram them into a two week action packed block.  By far, they are my favorite of the two seasons of olympics.  Last night marked the opening ceremonies!

I celebrated by going to a friends house for an opening ceremonies party, where we all wore something to support our favorite country.  Of course, I chose USA ('Merica).

During the opening ceremonies I enjoyed the section with the kids in hospital beds sleeping and the giant villains invading their dreams, and the part where JK Rowling read a short passage from a story.  

The olympics are not only a spectators dream, since they are streaming nearly constantly online this year, but also serve as inspiration.  In the midwest, it's hot and humid and motivation to run or get out there and move is hard to find.  Watching these fine tuned athletes compete provides motivation and inspiration.  I feel a small bit of camaraderie as I'm out early in the morning hitting the road for a run.  

Are you planning on watching the olympics?  What's your favorite event?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Recipe challenge, Ethiopian curry ...

I have an amazing friend who allowed me to have her CSA (community supported agriculture) box while she was on vacation.  The CSA is a great way to change up eating since all you receive is what the farm is growing, in season.

Last week I got a head of cabbage, and I had no idea what to do with it.  The only thing I could initially think of was cole slaw, but I'm deathly adverse to mayo :(  After asking around I got the amazing suggestion from a co-worker to try ethiopian curry.  According to her it was really easy.  At first I was skeptical, thinking curries are for seasoned chefs that actually know what they are doing.  But, after looking at the recipe it looked easy enough, so I gave it a shot.

Here's the recipe that I got from a blog:

1/4 c olive oil
1 onion, sliced thin
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1 shredded head of cabbage, small
5 cubed potatoes

Heat olive oil on medium head, then add onions and cook for about 5 minutes.  Then add all the spices and the cabbage, cook for 5 minutes.  Add potatoes and cook covered for approximately 30 minutes on medium-low heat, or until the potatoes are soft.

Ethiopian curry
The original recipe called for carrots and you add the carrots when you add the onions in the oil.  I didn't have carrots so I left them out, and the recipe turned out amazing.  I got some naan from the market to compliment this dish.  The great thing is that this dish is hearty, delicious, and vegetarian.  An added bonus is the vibrant color of the turmeric in our white dish ware.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Marathon training week 1 in review...

photo by lululemon athletica
Last week was the official first week of the 16 week training plan for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.  In total I logged 28 miles and the long run for the week was a 12 miler on Saturday.  Thankfully, the weather was perfect on Saturday morning.  I got a break from the heat and humidity and could remember why I love running so much.

Heading out at about 7 am with the temperature around 68F with low humidity was refreshing. I ran through all my favorite areas of town at a nice slow pace.  Since the runs earlier in the week are for time, I've decided that my long runs will be for mileage accumulation instead of trying to hit a goal time.

I've chosen the cool running training plan for beginning marathon, which goes beyond the typical 20 mile long run.  Surprisingly, their plans for beginner are typical of what is seen for the intermediate training plans.

All in all, the first week of "official" training was a success.  Let's hope every week is an encouraging as the mileage increases.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Part-time Vegetarian. Vegging-out!

For about 7 1/2 years I was a vegetarian, and it was primarily because I was deathly afraid of food-born illnesses and bacteria.  I started eating meat again near the end of college, and I've recently been reconsidering this choice.  The last month or so I've taken the meatless Monday challenge a bit further and gone without meat during the week but eating meat on the weekends.  This time my reasons were more environmental and overall health focused.  I still get plenty of protein through hard-boiled eggs and beans, and I've been trying to buy organic veggies for my recipes to reduce the exposure to harmful pesticides used to grow conventional veggies.     

Whether it's meatless Monday, totally Vegged-out Tuesday, without meat Wednesday, or sans-meat Saturday  the single day vegetarian movement is growing faster then ever.  Why would you want to skip one day eating meat?  Well, 1 calorie of meat uses significantly more natural resources then 1 calorie of veggies/fruits.  

There are other important reasons as well, such as overall health.  There is a correlation with decreased overall health and high consumption of meat.  The decrease in overall health is caused by things such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.  It's still not clear whether the meat is to blame or it's the lack of veggies since so much more of the American plate is taken up by protein.  Additionally, there is a correlation of those who eat a plant based diet and overall better health.  Vegetables and fruits are packed with nutrients and minerals.  

So, how do you get started?  Well, if you are currently a heavy meat eater, then try just one meal without meat.  You will get to try out tons of new recipes!  Once you can handle one meal, then try a whole day.  The meatless monday link above has some great recipes.  It's summer time and the best time to try new vegetables from the local farmer's market!

This is an investment in overall health and wellbeing that will payoff for not only you but also your family.  I'm looking forward to sharing healthy eating habits with my children just as my mother passed on to me.   

Thursday, July 19, 2012

'Stache Dash Scavenger Hunt 5K race in Cincinnati, OH in review...

Tuesday was hot and humid here in Cincinnati.  I mean HOT, the heat index was 100F.  The weather didn't stop a few of the girls I work with and I from participating in one of the most anticipated events of this month (besides the olympics), the 'stache dash scavenger hunt!  This event was sponsored by the hyde park body boutique and Lululemon in Hyde Park.

Here's what made this such a fun event:
1. each team had to wear mustaches (Our team name was the "well equipped upper lips")
Our Team! Well equipped upper lips
2. We had a sheet with clues to different stores/parks/areas of Hyde Park and once there we had to perform some kind of task and take a picture.  (We had to leap frog in madison park)
3. It was a small race filled with very enthusiastic participants and a very organized director!

This was a great boost to my running motivation and a great way to change things up during the week.

p.s. our team theme was cops and bandits.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Avoiding running burn out...

It goes without saying that life is stressful.  We all have different things putting pressure on us and creating stress.  Right now my stress is my research and trying to graduate, and I'm trying to manage this stress with running.  

This method of stress management works fine for awhile, then I get to a point where I just don't want to do anything at all and lose the motivation I have.  Basically, the stress wins and running suffers.  I've signed up for my 4th Marathon, the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, on November 3, 2012.  This means.....I need to stay motivated and train well.  

To try and avoid this burn out and lack of motivation, I've been changing this up a bit.  I've been actually doing speed work and hills.  This week I went to Ault Park to run the trails and hills.  Image below is the aftermath of this fun adventure.....I fell once, but it was great because I felt tough when I got back to my car.  

Cross-training and building strength has become a priority before the mileage gets too high.  I want to run injury free and feel strong so I've been doing power yoga at a couple local studios.  It's been about 6 weeks of power yoga and I'm already feeling stronger.  Below is an example of Phil-dog doing yoga at home......he's more into the yin yoga style and meditation (aka puppy naps)

I'm still on the search for the perfect training plan.  I have a feeling I may create one that's a hybrid of several plans.  I only want to run 4 days a week, have 1 day off, and 2 cross-training days.  For now, adding in the speed and hill work as well as the power yoga for fun cross-training has helped me stay motivated and avoid the burn out that's easy to experience during the HOT and HUMID summer in the Ohio valley.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Some images from my trip to San Francisco...

Last week I took a quick trip to San Francisco for a job interview.  This is the 4th time I've been able to visit this beautiful city.  It seems as though I lucked out with the weather, and it was sunny until the day I left.

Since this trip was for a job interview I wasn't in town long, and I was traveling alone.  Every time I travel alone I feel both empowered and a little frightened.

Here are a few pics I took while there.  I mostly stayed along the Embarcadero, which runs along the bay.

The Bay Bridge and a rocket 

View from the hotel.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cha Cha Cha Chia Pudding

Yes Chia, as in Chia pet.  You know, those terra cotta animal shaped things that you soaked in water and spread seeds over, and if you were lucky they grew a full coat of fur/sprouts.  However, if you were like me it was patchy and it looked like your chia pet had some kind of hair loss disease.

Well it turns out that those seed we were spreading over our chia pets are pretty nutritious.  They've also become the darling of the super food obsession.  Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3, that's the good fat that stops inflammation and you can also get it from fish like salmon and mackerel.

I choose to eat these little seeds as "pudding".  Once soaked in a liquid the chia seeds pretty much take on the consistency of tapioca.

I add a 4:1 ratio of almond milk to chia seeds and soak overnight, covered.
I soak my chia in a ball jar so that it can stay covered and the liquid doesn't evaporate
Add some canned pumpkin, cinnamon, and honey (or stevia)

All the ingredients ready to go
Mix this all up, and it's like pumpkin pie but WAY healthier.

It's delish and makes a great snack.  You're co-workers might look at you a little quizzically if you eat it at work (which I've experienced) but the taste and health benefits are worth it.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Leaving a Legacy...

Toas, New Mexico
My life is on a ledge, and I'm not sure where the fall will take me.  I'm trying to complete my PhD in Molecular and Developmental Biology while looking for a post-doctoral position in a city that will also have job opportunities for my husband.

In the midst of all this positioning for change I've been introspective about what kind of legacy I want to leave with my life.  Kimberly Wilson provides a great starting point for brainstorming and organizing your life vision of and the legacy you hope to leave in her book hip tranquil chick.

I've used the tools in this book to aid my thoughts.  First, I wrote a list of the things I want out of life including aspects related to personal, health, and career.  Here are a few:
  • Maintain a strong relationship with open communication with Jonah that adapts to what life throws at us.  
  • Share activities with friends.
  • A research position where I can work productively with passion and balance a family.
  • Healthy, organic eating to maintain health into advanced age.
  • Active lifestyle filled with many outdoor activities. 
Next, I made a list of causes that inspire me such as the SPCA, fitness for children, gay marriage, and nutritional education.  Then, a list of my strengths and values that I feel embody me.  After all this brainstorming I've created two vision statements that are representations of the life I want to live in order to accomplish the legacy I see myself leaving behind.

I wanted to share here the overarching vision statement I created, the other one is much more in depth in regards to each aspect of my life.  Here is my vision statement:

I will pursue a life of adventure with those I love.  I will seek to be a woman of integrity both professionally and personally, and have strength both physically and mentally.  I will do all this while exuding gratitude for all the people in my life.  

Do I live all these values every day/every minute?  Honestly, no.  These are the goals and things I'm striving towards, but having a written reminder is always a motivator when things get tough.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Top 10 funny lies told to me by family members...

After talking to a friend about my family, I came to the realization that I was told a lot of nonstandard childhood lies.  Although these lies bring amusement to my friends and I now, they were really used to get me to behave as a child.  As a naturally curious person I wanted to know the "why"  and "what will happen" of everything.  I'm sure I was an annoying child, so the following lies were born out of necessity...

  • ·      Eating while standing up your feet will get bigger. (I still feel wrong standing and eating.)
  • ·      Eating a watermelon seed or apple seed will result in that plant growing in your stomach.  (Freaked out as a 9 year old and thought I was going to have a watermelon patch in my stomach.)
  • ·      Swallowed gum will stay in your stomach for 7 years. 
  • ·      If you don’t wear a bra your boobs will be down to your knees. (Resulted in 24-hour bra wearing for several years.)
  • ·      “Holding it” for too long will make your bladder burst.  (This one was ineffective on me since I’ve always thought that going to the bathroom is a waste of valuable time. Pun intended)
  • ·      Reading in dim light you will damage your eyes. (Still do it all the time, if I can see the words I can read. I do have glasses, but not from this)
  • ·      Eating cheese will make you constipated. (Being lactose-intolerant, I’ve never had this experience but feared it)
  • ·      Swiss cheese is made from using acid to burn off the mold, that’s where the holes come from.   (This is just ridiculous, and I believed it until college.)
  • ·      Sitting too close to the TV will give you radiation poisoning and damage our eyes.  (It doesn’t unless you have one specific model of TVs from GE from the 60s.)
  • ·      Eating bananas before bed will give you nightmares.  (To this day if I call my mom and tell her I had a nightmare she always asks if I’ve been eating bananas after dinner.)
I'd like to say that I won't tell lies to my future children to get them to behave, but I have a feeling these types of things are used for a reason.  What I've learned from my brief stint working in a daycare and all the years of babysitting is that toddlers are not easily convinced of anything.  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chicago trip in photos...

We had a little time to see the city while we were in Chicago for a conference. We traveled by Megabus, which is always an experience...fun in this case traveling with friends/labmates. While in Chicago, I ran most mornings either along the lake or the canal and it was beautiful.  The feeling of getting your body moving and watching the sun reflect off the water and awaken the city or watching the fog burn off is rejuvenating.  One of the other highlights was visiting Fox and Obel to get some delish dark chocolate, candy, and some pastries!

Here are a few pics I took while visiting Chicago...
View from our room

Bill Goat Tavern....it was an experience, and we sat in VIP. 

Marilyn statue, of course.

Cloud gate....the bean

Monday, April 30, 2012

Last week in photos...

In preparation for the conference I'll be attending this week, last week was super busy.  So, when I had a chance I snapped a few photos.  Here they are... (most of them are of phil since he's cute and always up for a  pic!)
Last Monday was Phil's 6th bday....this was taken right before we went to doggie daycare at the petspot for a day of fun. 

Lounging on my laundry piles...

More laziness on his part while I was super busy...

This little guy was hanging by the apt entrance...the yearly invasion has begun

Spent some weekend time with Jonah and Phil in Lex....Phil spent most of the time looking out the window (he loves it)

This week I'm off to Chicago for a conference!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Just for fun...

Last night I decided that the rest of the Easter candy needed to go, but really that only meant like two peeps.  If there was more candy I was going to toss it, but as it turns out it's been consumed, mostly by me.  Thank goodness we don't get Easter baskets for each other in my family so I can limit the amount of delish easter candy that crosses the threshold.

So to dispose of these two slightly stale peeps I decided they needed to face off in a joust.  I was giggling in the kitchen by myself, it was so fun...
The contenders...
the bunny on the right is the clear winner!

I couldn't get a pick through the microwave, but that was by far the most fun part since they got huge.  RIP peeps, until next year.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Some scenes from this weekend...

I wanted to share a few pics from our venture to Keeneland this weekend.  This was our first visit of the  Spring season, and we had a  lot of fun.  We bet on several of the races, and of course I could only pick those in the bottom half of the races.  Well, except the first race where I called the winner, but we didn't bet on it.  Oh, and the winner's odds were by far the worst of that field.  

At one point during our revelry the entire grandstand area when quiet.  During a race ran on the grass turf on the most infield part of the track, a horse fell over the railing and the jockey fell off.  Luckily, the horse and jockey were both fine, but it was a very shocking moment during our day of fun.  

By far my favorite part of the day is when the horses are escorted around in the grassy yard area for a gentle warm-up.  I think I could stare at them all day.  There's a grace in how a strong horse moves.  I'm now super excited to head back at the end of this week!

Being boys....

This silly horse had his tongue out....no, he didn't win.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yoga on the Mat...

The first stop on my journey through the hip tranquil chick book is a lesson focused on Yoga on the Mat. The first two chapters focus on explaining benefits, styles, and short sequences of yoga.  Busy women can incorporate yoga into their lives to reconnect with themselves and their surroundings.  A short section expands of the specific aspects that you gain from yoga and can apply directly to your life, such as standing tall with poise like in mountain pose.  I think my favorite part of this book so far is the light manner in which it's written, which makes it like talking to a girlfriend.

My yoga practice has been sporadic since high school and I've been making an effort the past few years to make it more consistent.  The largest challenge is slowing my mind, but when I regularly attend classes or make time for yoga I can tell a huge difference both physically and mentally.  Although I don't following Hinduism, the religion which first developed yoga, I still feel a spiritual clarity while practicing yoga.  This spiritual clarity does depend on the type of yoga being practiced and type of class, but yoga provides an outlet that combines a body and mind exercise.

I'm hoping one day to master a handstand and forearmstand.  :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Our First Anniversary

Our wedding cake
 Today is our first wedding anniversary.  We celebrated this weekend by spending a dog-free overnight stay downtown and went to one of my fave restaurants, nada.

We never celebrated anniversaries while we were dating, so this was a new thing for us.  I have to say that Jonah totally excelled at anniversaries, not really a shock since he's good at everything.  He got me a wonderful silver locket on a long chain.  I've been looking for a specific kind of locket for ages now, and he found one that was perfect!  I got him an oregon ducks framed picture, and a list of promises I want to keep during our marriage tucked into easter eggs.  (I know I was a bit cheesey, but I'm pretty sure it's acceptable on a day like this.)

One year later...
We partook in the traditional eating of the year old top tier of the wedding cake.  I've included photos of the original small wedding cake (we mostly had fun cupcakes, but we didn't freeze those to keep).  Amazingly, the cake was delicious although it was definitely not as pretty as one year ago.  It taste nearly as good as it originally did!

Here's to our first anniversary and many, many more to come.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hip Tranquil Chick

I love books, but like many people I fall into the pitfall of buying and collecting books and not getting to read all of them.  So, to remedy this I'm going to read through a few of my long anticipated books and document my thoughts here on the blog.  Maybe this will spark your interest and you can add an exciting piece of literature to your life.

To start, I'm going to read Hip Tranquil Chick by Kimberly Wilson.  It's a non-fiction lifestyle book aided at helping you live a mindful life both on and off the yoga mat.  Kimberly Wilson has a podcast and blog which first sparked my interested since both are girly, sparkly, and savvy.  As a yoga studio owner (she's also a designer, teacher activists, and entrepreneur), she brings yogic concepts into everyday life.  Check her and her podcast out, it's always interesting.  

I'm planning on reading a few chapters of Hip Tranquil Chick a week and share them here with a brief summary and musings on the lessons learned from the chapters.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

AHA Heart Mini Year 2...

This is the second year I've been able to participate in the AHA heart mini to raise money for heart disease research/treatment and run a fun race through Cincinnati.

We were blessed with AMAZING weather this year.  Last year amid the drizzle then down pour of rain I was able to enjoy the event.  However, with a great weather the event was so much more enjoyable.  The race started bright and early (7:45am) for the half-marathon.  The course was the same as last year, which is good and bad since I knew where to expect the horribly steep hill.  Although it wasn't my best time, and I felt like puking for at least a mile I still enjoyed myself.  I knew I was running for a great cause and that PB and J sandwiches were waiting for me at the finish!

What added to the event was seeing fellow developmental biology students participating!  The race raises money for such a great cause, not only is heart disease the #1 killer of people in the US, but the American Heart Association provides opportunities for students, like me, and others to receive funding for our research.

A few scenes from our Singapore and Thailand vacation...

The last few weeks I was fortunate enough to slightly detach from the world, electronically, and travel half way across the world.  For our vacation this year, Jonah and I visited Singapore and Phuket, Thailand.  We left a cold and blustery Cincinnati and landed in muggy Singapore.  It seems like we've brought a good dose of the warm weather back with us, 80s in March!!!  We got a little shock upon arrival since we didn't realize that driving in Sinapore is on the opposite side that the US drives on.  It should have been obvious, but arriving at 2 am put us out of sorts and we thought we were going to be hit by cars several times until we adjusted to the driving patterns.

Here are a few scenes from our traveling adventures...

This is the DNA bridge.  Tiles on the bridges had the DNA bases, ATGC! I had a science geek out moment.

Baby Manatee  at the Singapore Zoo.  

We experienced the whole island of Singapore and took in every tourist attraction.  After a hard day of sight seeing we indulged in tea time with yummy coffee at cute cafe which I think was alice in wonderland inspired. 

Chinese temple in Phuket

The highlight of all the places we visited was the Singapore Zoo.  The animals are very accessible and you can literally interact with them since much of them are just wandering around, the orangutans are free-range.  At the Zoo, Jonah was able to feed a little baby sloth and we rode an elephant!  

Admittedly, I don't think I could handle the 87F high humidity weather year round, but it was a great place to visit.