Scatterbrained

I am pretty scatterbrained as of lately. I go through my day, come across something that sparks an interest, make a mental note to blog about it (or update my status, or tweet, or instagram about it), then I go on to the next thing and forget. I thought I’d have more time come summer, but so far it is proving the opposite.

So, since I don’t set aside enough time in the day to write a thoughtful, inspiring blog post, here goes a post of random things that have sparked my interest over the past few days.

First of all, did I say summertime? It’s summer! Summer is totally, without a doubt, my absolute favorite season…time for some sunshine and smiles. I love summer so much that I feel like I should have had a grand countdown to its arrival.

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I said that I didn’t set aside enough time to write thoughtful posts, but that wasn’t completely true. You see, I’ve reignited my addiction to pinterest, which means that my blog-writing time has turned into searching for pretty (or yummy) things that I want to make, but actually don’t have time to make.

I love pinterest and I love the creativity it opens up in me again, but like I said before, there is still a love/hate aspect to it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stop repinning cute outfits, yummy looking treats, or ideas for my dream home someday. However, you will never see me repin a “workout for your love handles” or a picture of a skinny girl as inspiration. A place where people with common interests to share their ideas and what inspires them is a great invention! However, some of these pins are degrading and aimed at making you feel bad about yourself.

But, I did repin this little gem…

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Word.

Did you know that I love Demi Lovato? Even if you didn’t know that, you probably could assume I loved her based on my background in eating disorder recovery and what she stands for. What an amazing (and real, might I add) role model to have out their in celebrity-land. Her song Skyscraper…pretty sure I could listen to it over and over forever and not get sick of it.

So, that’s what I’m doing right now. ūüôā

Did you see she was on the cover of Cosmo? Love that. You know what I didn’t love, though? As I waited in line to pay for my groceries, I picked up this magazine (because this is pretty much the only place where I get any reading done) to try to flip through to see her article. I had to flip quickly because it was almost my turn in line, and I opened the magazine right to the article How to Get a Bangin’ Body For Summer (or something along those lines).

You know I’m all about fitness. I love being active, I love running, and I love anything that will give me a good workout. I love endorphins. However, I don’t love all these things because I think it will give me a “bangin’ body.” I love these things because they make me feel empowered. Confident.

Come on world. Come on magazine peeps. Let’s write an article How to Love Your Already Bangin’ Body that God Gave You This Summer. If I saw that article advertised in the grocery checkout line…I think I’d actually buy the magazine. (Cosmo…if you need someone to freelance write that article for you…)

So speaking of fitness, after taking a week off I went for a run yesterday.

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But today, these shoes were made for walking instead. Yesterday I felt fine for about two miles…and that’s when I should have stopped. The ol’ knee started acting up during the last two miles. I think it’s getting better, but I need to stay off of it a little bit longer. Better be safe than sorry. I’ve been hitting the weights hard, though, and I’m absolutely loving how strong I feel. If I see you in person I will probably have to show your my new guns. ūüėČ

Did you like that last photo? Yeah, I discovered instagram. Love it. Find me, follow me.

Hey guess what? Joplin called. The hubs and I are going to jumpstart our road trip vacation by volunteering with Rebuild Joplin in July! Totally stoked. I hope I get to make my daddy proud and wear a hard hat.

And on that note, I think I’ll go make another cup of delicious coconut mocha coffee.

ang

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A Paper Surprise

Over the weekend I celebrated my best friend’s birthday (twenty-sixth, right?!) with a lovely surprise party planned by her husband and parents. I, along with another sweet friend, was assigned the fun task of providing decorations for the party.

Well, if you’ve been reading this blog at all you probably know that I’m going back to school. Going back to school equals being poor for the rest of your life. Being poor equals the need to get creative. Thank goodness Pinterest is free.

All the decor was created with paper, yarn, paint, cans, wooden sticks, and a little bit of rhinestone bling. Combine that with a hot glue gun, sand, a sewing machine, and some tape and you got yourself a party.

I arrived early to set up all the decor before the guests, especially the guest of honor, got there. I’m sure that I got many strange stares from the diners and servers as I stood atop the barstools to reach the ceiling. This was just the first time of many that I truly missed my 6’8″ handsomeness who was unable to celebrate with us.

When the guest of honor arrived she seemed completely shocked and surprised, and I’m pretty sure that she shed a tear when she saw me there. It was difficult to keep the secret all week when all I wanted to do was tell her how excited I was to be coming in town to see her!

It was a fabulous night.

Today is her actual birthday, and I’m so happy that she came into this world, umm…twenty-three(?) years ago, and that she came into my life four years ago. Happy birthday H.

ang

Thanksgiving Scrooge

Yesterday something awesome happened that put me in an instantly amazing mood.

I heard Christmas music.

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Then I remembered that I have dinner club coming up in a couple weekends, and that can only mean one thing in my mind. Christmas ornament exchange. Yes please.

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And, because of Pinterest, all my dinner club friends should be expecting a homemade Christmas ornament from the Mrs. side of this couple.

I know what some of you, er, most of you are thinking. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet. And yes, at dinner club we are exchanging our Christmas ornaments, but we are having a Thanksgiving themed dinner (duh).

By the way…I’m pretty sure I brought bruschetta to this event last year. You can probably expect me to bring another italian (i.e. not Thanksgiving) themed dish.

I actually am aware of this, however, I’d rather skip right over Thanksgiving and sprint toward the Christmas season. You can call me the scrooge of Thanksgiving. I’m not a fan of turkey, or stuffing, or mashed potatoes, or casseroles that, because of their color, I’m sure are made with mayonnaise (even if they are not). In fact, on Thanksgiving you can find me carrying a plate heaping of green bean casserole (not to be confused with cheesy green beans that the in-laws make), three to four rolls, and a black olive stuck on each finger of my free hand.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the fact that we’re celebrating the pilgrims and the native americans and friendship and family and being thankful. I’m not an unthankful person, I promise. I am thankful for many things. Many. Many. Many. Things. I’m thankful for an unbelievably loving husband. I’m thankful for my princess Tia who puts a smile on my face seven thousand, three hundred and eleven times a day. I’m thankful for my family, most of which I don’t get to see enough, but all of whom I know love me dearly. I’m thankful for a second chance at a new degree. I’m thankful for all of my friends. I’m thankful for glue guns, colored markers (preferably Sharpies!), and coffee. I’m thankful for my health and my families’ health and my friends’ health. I’m thankful for Ali’s blog, which on Thursdays always reminds me of more things to be thankful for. I’m thankful for blog readers who motivate me to keep writing. I’m thankful for sweatpants, furry boots, jeans that fit well, and hot pink running apparel.

I’m thankful for pumpkin spice coffee creamer. I definitely jumped on that bandwagon. Why yes, and I’m thankful for it.

See, I’m thankful.

But I’m also thankful for Christmas songs, Christmas lights, the thought of a white Christmas, peppermint scented things, peppermint flavored things (bring on the peppermint mocha coffee creamer please!), red and green doggie sweaters (sorry Ti-Ti), wreaths, sparkly things, and of course, Barbara Streisand’s “Jingle Bells” and the memory of my cousin and I dancing to it when we were toddlers..

I mean, it’s only forty-seven days away. Definitely not too early for Christmas music.

ang

Achievable and Challenging

I think there is a great importance to setting goals. Before volleyball games, I had my girls come up with goals as a team and come up with individual goals. At the beginning of the season someone would say, “Our goal should be to do good.” Well, that’s a given! I then explained to them that our goals needed to be measurable. We need to be able to actually see if we achieve them.

Once the girls grasped that concept someone would suggest, “Our goal should be to have no missed serves.” This seems like a great goal, however, these are middle school girls…and for many serving was not yet their strong suit. I had to explain that our goals need to be achievable. Then someone would blurt out, “Okay then, only ten missed serves.” Ten?! We’d surely lose the game is we missed that many serves. I then explained that our goals need to be achievable, yes, but also challenging.

Ooooohhh.

So for this month, I am setting some very measurable, achievable, and challenging goals for myself.

1. Decide which nursing school I will attend.

Obviously I need to make this decision because I’ll be enrolling in classes soon! Aaahhh! I am so excited to start school, I just can’t say it enough! I am definitely feeling a pull toward one school, but I’m not ready to make a definite decision. Soon, though!

2. PR on November 20th in my second ever half marathon.

I finished my last (first) half marathon in one hour, fifty-nine minutes, and ten seconds. I so want to beat this!

3. Finish my second ever half marathon in one hour and fifty-five minutes.

Yes, I’ll be happy with any PR, but to really challenge myself I want to finish 1.55:xx. I know that for so long (marathon training) I was focused on mileage rather than speed, so for the past couple of weeks I’ve really been trying to get faster!

4. Cook (3 meals a week and two great Thanksgiving sides). Read (1 book). Make (3 things from Pinterest).

5. Smile 334,918,374,918,327,419,834,719,238,471,903,248,102 times!

How are you challenging yourself this month?!

ang

Well Hello There November

I woke up bright and early this morning, threw on my marathon t-shirt to go workout in (it’s crazy how awesome that shirt still makes me feel!), ran hard, got buff, came home, browsed Pinterest, drank protein, showered with the most delightful buttercream flavored (scented?) soap, realized that the scent reminds me of fall, pondered about how I’m actually loving fall…

…and then I realized that it is November!

What a way to start the month! A run, weights, Pinterest, and buttercream?
Yes please!

But before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s look back at October…which somehow is over and gone, even though I’m pretty sure it just started yesterday.

In October I stuck to my half marathon training plan…kind of…well…for the most part. I did all my long runs, and I did most of my speed workouts, so I’ll call it good. I’m really loving long runs right now, especially in the cooler weather, and especially with good company (thanks Fallon)!

In October I cooked a little bit. I don’t think I could say that I cooked more than I cooked in September, but I didn’t cook less. The good news is that I’m trying here people. Glass half full!

In October I tried something pumpkin flavored…and loved it! So much so that I bought another six-pack a couple weeks later at a whopping $9.50.

In October I put my creative juices to work! I created menus for Spa Nova, and I actually sewed something¬†that I found on Pinterest. My creativeness has been flowing in other directions, too, but still a work in progress…I’ll share soon, though, I promise. However, my ambition to spruce up this blog took a backseat to my Pinterest addiction…the only thing I added was my Pinterest account to my contact page…because I know you are just as addicted as I am!

In October I, sadly, did not read a book. But, I have chosen three books to read…now I just have to open one up and get started!

Most importantly, in October I kept the faith (although I may have faltered ever so slightly) and I was happy. I finally received the good news I had been waiting for, and now I am more excited than ever to conquer some more goals! (And I’m extremely excited for January when I get to start school again…still not sure where I’ll be attending yet…) I have also attended a church here in town a few times, and although the husband and I still don’t know if it’s the church for us, just going has been amazing. I love getting home on Sunday morning with a church song stuck in my head. It definitely makes for a great week ahead!

I have some pretty hefty goals for the month of November, so I’m going to dedicate an entire post to them later. For now I’m going to enjoy this beautiful November morning with a nice cup of coffee!

So-long October, hello November!

ang

Oh Lovely Pinterest

About two weeks ago I made a discovery that has changed my life.

I have spent hours exploring this discovery, and yet I still don’t really know what I’m doing. It has jumpstarted the wheels in my creative head spinning, so much so that everyone in my family should expect homemade Christmas gifts this year. I have ideas exploding in my head, yet I haven’t put many into action yet. It has made me become even more unproductive than I was before.

If you are at all familiar with it, I’m sure you have already guessed…

…and if you are not already familiar with it, get onboard! Join the bandwagon. You won’t even miss all the wasted hours browsing other peoples boards!

I like to think of Pinterest as a tool to create online inspiration boards. You can “pin” photos of absolutely anything to boards for your own personal account. Currently I have several boards…one for products I want, one for what my dream home might look like, but by far my favorite board is for things I want to try to make! (If you’d like to see my boards, just follow me here!)

Pinterest inspired me to get out a needle and thread yesterday and cut apart a couple of t-shirts. While I do consider myself a creative person, I definitely would not say that I’m handy with a needle and thread. Just ask my mother-in-law who I ask to sew anything and everything that needs fixing that comes from my home. (This would include sewing a button on a pair of pants…pathetic, I know. In fact, so pathetic that my husband decided to learn to sew a button himself, and he ended up fixing the button on my last pair of pants!) It’s not so much that I don’t know how to sew…it’s just that I don’t want to.

Or rather, that I didn’t want to.

But, Pinterest made me want to! The proof…

I made this scarf! The directions for this scarf did, in fact, require a sewing machine. I didn’t want to wait to find someone with a sewing machine and then have to drive to their house (which would at least be an hours drive from where I live), so my impatient booty threaded the needle and went to work!

I think it’s rather cute. (So family and friends, which of you would like a scarf like this one for Christmas?!)

But…I discovered something about this lovely website yesterday that made me think of it as not so lovely. I realized that you can search pins by categories. One of the categories that caught my eye, obviously, was the fitness category. Fitness equals loveliness in my book. So I clicked on it and began browsing. I found many lovely pins…many of which were inspiring phrases. I found this lovely pin called a runner’s prayer…

Lovely, right?

Then I found other images that I’d fit into the “thinspiration” (gag) category…images of women who do not look healthy or fit. I found phrases that expressed negative words about being “fat” and about what foods should be eaten (or rather, not eaten). There were phrases designed to make someone feel guilty about themselves.

Not so lovely anymore.

I do understand that on Pinterest, people can “pin” literally anything in the cyber world that they want. Therefore people can share these more or less tough-love (er, no love?)type of images or phrases. But how is the idea of thinness equals beauty ever going to change when so many people believe in it? How will this ever change?!

Little by little, it can change. We just have to believe in the good things. We have to remind ourselves what real beauty is. Not numbers. Not weight. Not what you look like.

Then, my faith was reignited in Pinterest when also in the fitness category I found this little gem…

(Image pinned from Operation Beautiful)

There is always going to be some negativity coming from somewhere in the world. It is just up to us to ignore it and look to the positive.

ang