Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Color Me Rad 2013

I had a... might you say.... RAD weekend!  Running Color Me Rad for a second time was even better than the first.  [Last year was my first time running it - check out more on that race here.]

I ran the race with 2 of my roommates [Mike being one of them], a couple friends from RI, a couple from here in CT, and Amanda over at MandaLoves, who I met a couple weeks ago.  We had such a fantastic time!  The race itself was pretty much the same as last year with a color station ever kilometer [pink, green, purple, yellow, and orange] as well as color throws every 15 minutes at the end.  Even better than last year was the amount of color - at the purple station, there wasn't really anyone throwing color at us, sooooo we stuck our hands into the huge color bins and coated each other - RAD.  The cloud of color was so big that for a good 5 seconds I couldn't see anyone around me and had NO idea which way was forward! haha

Thank you so much to all of my friends who made this such a fun day!

We got blue shirts this year! And tattoos! 
The before
The RAD purple cloud
That big orange cloud was the finish line.
And the after
The brave ones... who still have "Rad" tattooed on our arms... yes, 3 days later.
AWESOME color this year!
All the ladies!
Miss Amanda!
Rhode Island loves
Creating our own color throw
 Thanks for the awesome photos, Mike!
Merp decided to join in on the fun.
One last color photo before I took a purple shower

I would have to say my overall favorite part of the race was doing it with friends.  I'm such a lucky lady to have incredible friends and roommates who don't mind getting a little dirty!  I would have to say this photo [that I just bought from Flo-Foto] sums it up pretty well: Mike and I about to cross the finish line, covered in color, holding hands, and smiling.  

Did I persuade you yet??? Go check out their website - they have almost 80 more races this year, so there's bound to be one near you!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

My journey starts TODAY!

Even though I like to think of this blog as an outlet for my feelings and thoughts, I haven't before felt comfortable sharing something that I've been struggling with for a couple of years: my weight.

Growing up, I was a chubby kid.  I remember always wearing a one-piece bathing suit and having little chubby cheeks.  I joined the swim team at my YMCA when I was in third grade and started to slim down.  I really liked the way I looked through high school [as I was swimming and/or carrying my golf bag every day], but I was never "skinny."  But that was okay with me.  However, when I got to college [of course] I gained some weight.  It wasn't too bad, but without swim and with the freedom of college, I started to dislike the way I looked.  It got worse and worse throughout college as I gained about 20 pounds throughout my four years.  

Now, two years out of college, cooking my own food, eating whatever I want, doing whatever I want, I find that I am not happy with the way I look.

I'm up to 160 pounds.  I am 5 feet tall, and according to some websites, that's obese.  While I'm not happy with the way I look [almost all of my clothes are tight and I feel like I have very few options everyday when I choose clothes for work], I also feel like I have less energy.  I don't feel like going out to play golf and walking 18 holes because I'm tired, I don't feel like running as often because I know I won't get very far, and I find myself being sore more often after teaching golf lessons.  Even this weekend doing the Color Me Rad 5k [which I will update you on tomorrow - can't wait!!], I could tell I wasn't my best.  

I want to be healthy.  I want to like who I see when I look in the mirror.  I don't want to feel like I'm purely using clothes to cover up my body.  I'm doing another half marathon in November, and from now until then [and hopefully beyond], I want to make a life change.    I want to be a better version of myself.  I want to be happy.    

I thought this would be a great opportunity to link up for 5 for Five with Jessica and Jenn.  I think if I start with 5 week long goals, I might get this going.

1. No snacking between meals or especially after dinner
2. Exercise once everyday
3. Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day
4. Bring my lunch to work everyday [so I can control what I eat during the day]
5. Only one Starbucks drink

The reason I am sharing this with you all is because I need your help.  I might need some encouragement, and any suggestions you might have if you've made or are no a journey to become healthier are much appreciated.  The blogging network is such a supportive group of ladies, and with your help, I know this time I can make this happen.

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to updating you with [hopefully] positive news as the weeks progress.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cara Box: Go Green!

I know I'm writing this a bit early since the linkup is tomorrow [Monday], but I'm just so excited to share with you!  Plus, I have a new "project" I'm starting tomorrow on the blog, so I can't wait for you all to read about that as well.

I had a lot of fun with this month's box.  As you might have read on Heather's blog when we swapped, I try to stay green in my daily life, but I was very excited to send/receive a box full of goodies to help stay even green-er!  

I was paired with Anissa at The Beauty Phanatic.  She sent me a great package of green goodies.  I am most excited about the window sill plants, and am hoping to have some tomatoes, strawberries, and sunflowers this summer!  
straws, sponges, plants, a portable coffee cup, a produce bag, and a green cleaner

Enjoying some morning tea in my great new cup!

I also sent a box to Holly over at Back Home Again.  I put a lot of pressure on myself because Holly was one of the ladies who came up with this month's theme!  I hope she enjoys everything!  To me, going green isn't just the environment, it's reusing things you already have as well as buying things that will keep our planet happy.  I tried to give Holly a little bit of all of those:
- I bought her a little green cactus while I was in Las Vegas [to add to her garden], a reusable cup, and some Neutrogena Naturals lip balm.
- I reused a cleaning wipe container to make a plastic bag holder [with some of her favorite colors].
- I cut up some corks I had been saving [because I knew she loves wine] to make a photo frame [and she loves photography!].

Here's a little sneak peek... check out Holly's blog to see everything :) 

Cara Box
Thank you again, Kaitlyn for another great month of the Cara Box!

Friday, April 26, 2013

MB's Chicken and Rice Casserole

Who is MB you ask?  That's my momma!  Growing up, my parents always insisted my close friends call my parents by their first names... they got called Mr. and Mrs. enough at their jobs [as teachers haha].  Well, my friends felt weird calling her "Marybeth," so they went with MB - and it stuck!  To this day, my high school friends still call her that.  

Well, this is one of her famous recipes and I always loved it growing up.

Just an FYI, this recipe takes about and hour and a half from start to finish - but almost all of that is just baking, so it still is an easy recipe to prepare!

- 1 cup of white rice
- 1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup
- 1 pound of chicken tenders
- 1 package of dry onion soup
- milk

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook the rice for 5 or so minutes less than directed on the package [usually 15-20 minutes] 
- Combine the can of mushroom soup and a can of milk [yes, that's the measurement] and mix.
- Remove a 1/2 cup of the milk/soup mixture and set aside
- Add half of the dry onion soup to the remaining milk/soup mixture
- Add the mostly-cooked rice to the milk/mushroom soup/onion soup mixture
- Pour the rice into 9x13 pan
- Place uncooked chicken on top of the rice mixture
- Pour the 1/2 cup of milk/soup that was set aside on top of the chicken
- Sprinkle the remaining dry onion soup mixture on top
- Bake covered for 30 minutes, take out the casserole, remove the chicken, mix around the rice, put the chicken back, and recover to bake for another 30 minutes
- Bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes

chicken and rice in pan, pouring the 1/2 cup milk/mushroom soup on top

all done!

Yummm! I serve it with cranberry sauce and green beans.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stepping Into Spring Swap: Reveal

This month I decided to participate in two swaps this month [yeah, I don't exactly know what I was thinking haha - so much shopping...but so much fun!].  I had such an amazing experience last month with the Cara Box that I wanted to do it again, but when I saw this swap on Allie's blog, I was SO EXCITED. Flip flops and nail polish?  Yes, that's me!

I was paired with Jen over at That's What She Read.

She told me that she watched my vlog from Las Vegas and thought the bright colors of this pair of flops and polish would be perfect.  Boy, was she right!  Thank you so much, Jen!!
And how cute are her note card and the little sticker on the outside of the package?!?

I had a lot of fun shopping for Jen, especially since I got to do it in Las Vegas.  Here's a little preview.  Check out what I sent to Jen by checking out her blog!

And, of course, thank you so much, ladies, for hosting!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday Walkabout [Mystery Host!!]

Hey everyone, I'm soooo excited - I was chosen as this week's Mystery Host!!! The Walkabout was the very first link up I ever joined, and I found almost every one of my best bloggy friends through this group.  Thank you Jane, Jamie, Chantal, and Sarah!!

How did I [read: my roommate] celebrate this awesomeness?? 
She made Kristin's Cake Batter Rice Krispy Treats!!!
If you haven't tried these, you need to!  They even have cream cheese frosting in them. 

Now onto the Walkabout!
What is a Walkabout? It's a blog link-up party, every week here and with our co-hosts! Simply put your blog address or a specific post in the linky, visit some other people, and make some friends. Easy at that! I can't wait to talk to everyone!
PS: You only have to link up with ONE of the co-hosts!

The Rules:
1. Please follow at least ONE hostess, and let us know you're a new follower and how to follow you! To be entered as next week's Mystery Host, follow all hosts from this week. 
Mystery Host Meg- Borrowed Heaven
Chantal- Scattered Shells
Jane- Poppiness
2. Try to visit 3-4 blogs that interest you. Take some time and let them know where you came from.
3. Grab the button and spread the word! (Not required, but just cool if you do). The more, the merrier.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

thoughts on my day off...

Running in the morning [and I mean like 10 am - not at 6 am before work] is seriously awesome - perfect weather.

Are pansies perennials or annuals?  I had NO IDEA they were going to come up again this year. Bonus flowers!

I cannot wait to eat my Olive Garden leftovers from last night's date for lunch.

I think I'll go for a second run this afternoon and keep working on our backyard.  It will have grass this summer if it's the last thing I do! 

Mike just told me Jay Z produced the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby ...and I thought that movie couldn't sound better!

The new UConn logo is just atrocious.  Check out the progression of Jonathan here.  It kind of reminds me of the progression of the Oregon State logo Megan shared a couple months back.  

old and new

Oh yeah, I forgot to share how Mike and I went to UConn this weekend to buy up some of the old logo'd merch before the new stuff comes in.  And it was the spring football game, too.

The brick building on the right is where Mike took all of his engineering classes.  

I'm loving Demi Lovato right now.  Her new song is way too catchy and her tattoos are amazing.  

Posts I'm looking forward to writing: swap reveals, spring photography, and new healthy habits.

My current state: UConn hoodie, fleece blanket, recliner, laptop, Roxy, HIMYM. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

We're "going green" y'all!

Happy Earth Day, friends!  Heather and I are swapping blogs for the day, to tell you how we're going green - enjoy!          - Meg

From here to there...
Hey y'all, I'm Heather and I spend most of my blogging time over at From Here to There.  There's really no point in telling you what I blog about because it's kind of super random and totally just whatever I feel like, but I can tell you what I don't blog about because that's easy: Babies, I don't have any.  Marriage, I'm not in one. So yeah, you'll probably find everything else.

I'm so excited to be on Meg's blog today!  We decided to swap blogs today and so if you miss her (which, who wouldn't?) then you should run on over to my blog and see what she had to say for the day!

Since today is EARTH DAY, I'm going to share with you a few things that I do to "Go Green" and a few things that I wish I could do better!

How I "Go Green"

{1} The occasional vegetarian or vegan: I don't know if any of you are vegetarians or have gone vegan before, but it's a really great way to support going green.  Even if you do a "meatless monday" every week, you're helping the environment!  
Obvious reasons it's good: It's compassionate and it's healthier + fresh.  
Not so obvious reasons (environmental): It produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, a plant based diet  requires 1/3 of the land and water needed, farming animals creates deforestation, water pollution and land degradation, and more!
**The livestock industry is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transport sector (13.5%), including aviation**
(You can get more information here from Vegan Society)

{2} Walk/Bike: Luckily I live in a small town and my apartment has been close to school for the past few years and is now close to work.  I can't do this option as much as I'd like, but when I can I enjoy walking/biking to work or to a friends house or out to the bars with friends.  It cuts down on the emissions from my vehicle driving all around town.

{3} Re-use: I re-use all of my bags from the grocery store for my lunches or to travel products.  I should start using actual re-useable bags, but I haven't started that yet.  I also re-use all the boxes I get in the mail.  I actually have a huge stack right now that I can use to send out blog gifts/exchanges!

How I want to Improve "Going Green"

{1} Recycling: My town does not have a good recycling system.  I don't have a bin that I can easily use and have picked up and I don't have a good location for dropping off, but it's something I am becoming more and more conscious of and want to start doing!

{2}Reduce my water use: I'm terrible at leaving water running and taking longer showers.  I'm not sure why it doesn't cross my mind so often, but I leave the water running as I'm doing dishes, as I'm brushing my teeth, as I'm taking a bath or shower, and because of my smaller washer, I wash a lot of loads of clothes.  I do re-use my towels though, which I'm sure saves!

{3} Green Cleaning: I would LOVE to switch over a lot of the products I use to green alternatives.  Whether that's buying "green" products (which I do try to do if I can) or creating my own cleaning materials, I would LOVE to do that!  It'll be healthier for me since I won't use the gross chemicals and it'll be better for the environment!

I absolutely adored being a part of Meg's blog today and I hope you'll hop over to my blog, see what she has to say about "going green" and maybe you can even provide me with a few tips that you think will be helpful for me in my initiative to go green!

Happy Earth Day y'all!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My Weaknesses [Sunday Social]

What is your shopping weakness? Forever 21 for clothes; Target for anything else

What is your food weakness? Panera mac and cheese 

What is your go to movie to watch when nothing is on? 13 Going On 30

What is your go to breakfast food? Bagel and cream cheese from Bruegger's [sesame with light plain!]

Do you drink coffee? If so how do you take it? I do not, closest would be a light java chip frappuccino from Starbucks 
Two of my obsessions together - thanks, Pinterest!
Sunday Social
Design Poppiness Designs