Monday, February 27, 2012

A BIC Bands Giveaway!

I always thought I had a weird shaped head because no headbands would ever stay on my head while I was running...until I found BIC Bands!

I found BIC Bands through Skinny Runner's blog and immediately went to the website to make a purchase. I bought a pink sparkly band and a zebra band and the rest is history.
I know y'all have seen me wearing BIC Bands in pictures for months! These headbands are seriously amazing. I've worn them in both half marathons, 5ks, training runs, yoga, weight workouts, the 30 Day Shred...they stay put!

I wore a black BIC Band during the MS Blues Half Marathon... zebra BIC Band during the Savannah Half Marathon... pink sparkly BIC band during yoga...
Plus a pink and gold headband with seashells on it during training runs and yoga. I wear them for almost every workout I do, especially running.

I love how BIC Bands come in tons of designs and different widths so you can choose based on your preference. I also love how they are reasonably priced!

BIC Bands has an awesome message. BIC stands for "Because I Can", and a portion of each purchase goes towards raising funds for a different charity each month. BIC Bands raise money because they can, for those who can't, so that one day they will. BIC Bands originated when Sandy, the creator of BIC Bands, was training for a race with Team in Training.
Sandy was so sweet to send me three BIC Bands to give away to my readers!
From left: a thin "split decision blue-green" band , a skinny sparkle black band, and a minnie chocolate bubblegum band!

I will give away one of the bands to three winners!

Enter below by commenting and telling me your email, which band is your favorite, and also what is an essential you have to your workout wardrobe. Running, yoga, tennis...whatever your physical activity is, tell me what you can't live without!

The giveaway will end Friday, March 2, 2012, at 12:00 PM Eastern Time. I will post the results as well as email the winners!

I was not compensated for reviewing BIC Bands or hosting this giveaway. I love BIC Bands and purchased all of my personal bands. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day in the Life: A Typical Tuesday

I am SO glad it’s Thursday! Only one more day until the weekend!

This week has been crazy…and it won’t be ending anytime soon. I have 4 weeks from yesterday (Wednesday) until my defense so I have lots of work and preparation to do in the next month. But bear with me, I’ll be posting as best I can, I promise!

I love reading Day in the Life posts so I decided to share a typical Tuesday in my life:

My alarm goes off at 7:00 am. I actually get up anywhere from 7:05-7:15…I’m the queen of the snooze button!

I take a shower, do my hair and makeup, get dressed, brush teeth, all that getting ready stuff, and go into the kitchen to make breakfast while Zach walks Zoe.

We have a protein shake every morning for breakfast. It’s usually unsweetened Silk vanilla almond milk, chocolate whey protein powder, a banana, spinach, and ice.

I honestly never get sick of having this for breakfast. I love chocolate!

Then we get in the car about 8:00 and head to campus. We get to our offices about 8:25-8:30, depending on traffic.

I spend the morning working and then eat a light snack at about 11:45 am while Zach eats lunch. I’m headed to lunchtime power yoga at 12:30 so I stick to something light before class.

Luna bars are one of my staple snacks. I LOVE them!

I leave the union at 12:15 and walk over to the gym for power yoga.

I absolutely love this class. It’s way challenging, especially since I’m so un-flexible as a runner, but I’m improving every class and feel so refreshed after!

After class at 1:30 I head back over to my office and eat lunch.

I usually have salad with spinach, cucumber, pecans or walnuts, and honey mustard dressing. I love adding tomatoes so when they are in season they will definitely be making an appearance!

After lunch, it’s back to work! Sometimes I continue working in my office. Other days, I head to the lab.

I keep on working until about 3:25, when I have to head downstairs for graduate seminar, which is the single most boring thing I do all week. I have no attention span to watch a presentation at this point in the day!

I keep myself awake by eating my afternoon snack, which is usually an apple with peanut butter or a Chobani.

After seminar ends at 5:00 pm, Zach and I pack up and head home. I can’t wait to see Zoe…I always miss her all day!

Zach, Zoe and I go for a walk for about 30-45 minutes, then we come home and cook dinner.

This Tuesday, we had cajun lime tilapia (recipe to come – SO GOOD!), green beans, and brown rice. It was so good!

After dinner, we usually watch TV, play with Zoe, and continue working. The work in grad school never ends!

I take Zoe out one last time around 11:00 pm and we head to bed between 11:30 and 12.

Not the most exciting Tuesday routine but that’s my typical Tuesday!

Tell me about your day! Do you have the same schedule every day or does your schedule switch up day to day?

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Banana Bread!

Sorry I've been MIA for a few days! I'm defending my graduate research in a month from today (ahh!/yay!) and have some huge deadlines rapidly approaching in the next two weeks so please bear with me!

I have an awesome recipe to share with y'all tonight! The first is a healthified version of a homemade favorite - banana bread!

This bread is easy, tasty, and also customizable. You have a few options with the ingredients to make it as healthy/sweet as you like.

2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3/4 cup honey (or 3/4 cup sugar, or for no-sugar-added, use 1.5 tsp stevia)
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas

Optional cinnamon swirl: 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tbs cinnamon

First, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and mix.

In a separate bowl, mix bananas, applesauce, eggs, and honey/sugar/stevia. I really recommend using a mixer for this part. I didn't, and my bananas were still kind of chunky.

Add banana mixture to flour mixture.

For no-swirl bread, pour batter into a Pam-ed or buttered loaf pan.
If you do want to include a cinnamon swirl (so good!), mix 1/3 cup sugar with 1 tbs of cinnamon, pour half the batter into the loaf pan, sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the batter, add the rest of the batter, then sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture on the top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Top with butter, peanut butter, or just eat right out of the pan!

My comments on the customizations: if you do decide to omit sugar or honey and use stevia, I will warn you that the bread is not sweet like traditional banana bread. It is still really yummy, just not sweet like you may be expecting. Since I prefer a sweeter banana bread but don't want to eat too much sugar, I usually cut the amount of sugar in half. Just sweet enough!

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Friday, February 17, 2012

The Meaning of Zoe: Life

This morning we took Zoe to the doggie doctor for her annual checkup and shots. I've never seen a dog who wags their tail at the vet as much as Zoe does! She behaved so well, didn't cry once, and was just so happy to see everyone! She loves being petted and getting treats (what dog doesn't?), and since the vet gives her plenty of love and attention, she loves going!

This got me thinking on the way home - how lucky are we to have a dog as good as Zoe? She never gives us any problems and is always just a happy, sweet girl. She definitely has a sassy streak, but she is so well behaved and mild mannered that we just get a kick out of her sass.

I absolutely love my sweet furry girl! And here's why:

She loves the beach:
She loves it so much she gets a sand-beard and steals my towel space

She loves to run:
This dog LOVES to run. She would run all day if she could (and she does, when she has a huge yard to run in). She wags her tail for 10 mile runs and just enjoys every second of a run!

She loves animal prints:
Zoe loves cheetah print and zebra print. Her favorite bandana is her cheetah bandana, and she loves her brown and cream colored zebra bed. They suit her sassy side.

She's photogenic:
I always get such beautiful pictures of my pup looking sweet and into the camera...NOT!

She minds her own business:
Ha! Zoe is the world's nosiest dog. Zoe loves being all-up-in-yo-space. Personal bubble? Zoe doesn't know that concept.

She's festive:
Zoe really knows how to get into the spirit of the season.

She Gator chomps:
Zoe loves football season. She especially loves tailgating and is a devoted Gator girl. She even learned how to Gator chomp!

She's respectful of others:
"Oh I'm sorry...were you in the middle of playing cornhole? This spot just looked too comfy to pass up!"

She loves traveling:
(Savannah, GA - November 2011)
We bring Zoe everywhere. She's been to Florida, Rhode Island, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia...and she loves it! She is quite a traveled pup. And the best part? She behaves SO WELL and everyone comments on how good she is. We ate at an outdoor cafe in Savannah and Zoe just laid on the sidewalk next to our table and people watched.

She looks cute after baths:
I think she looks like a furry little alien. But she loves being wrapped up in a towel!

She loves peanut butter:
If you open a jar of peanut butter, Zoe comes running. She loves it so much she asked Santa Paws for her own jar for Christmas so she could double dip.

We just love our sweet Zoe girl! We've had her almost a year and I can't imagine not having her! She really just cracks us up! We look forward to being with her after work every day and I miss her while I'm at work! She's such a loyal, sweet dog who loves to cuddle (even if it means laying directly on you), eating bones, playing, running, and just being around you! The name Zoe means "life" and this dog is full of it!
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Operation Fit Bride: 20 Minute Total Body At-Home Workout

It's no secret that I've been on Operation Fit Bride for about a month now. Sure, I can run a half marathon, but I still need to drop about 20 more pounds and tone tone tone! Good thing I have a year to go!

I've been doing yoga, butts and guts, and 30-day shred and I definitely feel stronger! Last Friday, I went for a quick 2-mile run with Zoe and ran my first mile in 10:44 and my second mile in 11:07! I typically run 11:30-12:00 miles (I know I'm a turtle!) so the strength training and circuit workouts I've been completing have definitely affected my running in a positive way!

I am determined to continue on Operation Fit Bride, even when some days really crunch me for time! I created a quick, 20-minute, total body circuit workout I (and y'all!) can do from home!

All you need is from free weights (I use 5-8 lb. weights depending on the day) and 20 minutes!
This workout is tough, but it works and it's only 20 minutes!

Pick up your weights and get moving!

Happy Wedding Wednesday!
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Day Full of Hearts and Pink!

I just love Valentine's Day! When I was a kid my mom would make us pink pancakes and pink milk to drink! My dad always got my sister and I a small box of chocolates from a local shop. I always looked forward to Valentine's Day!

Zach and I split our celebration into two days. We went out to eat last night so we wouldn't have to wait in line on Valentine's Day night.
We exchanged gifts last night before dinner. I gave Zach a razor with 5 blades (that's what he wanted I swear!), some Snickers hearts, and an MSU decal for the CR-V. I also gave him the first of the three cards I got for him (I know...don't judge).

Zach gave me a candle and a wedding magazine! Plus our dinner!
It's fun to dress up for dinner!
I wore my new red sweater dress since it was so cold and rainy out. Excuse the Zoe mess all over the floor.
We had an awesome time at hibachi! I was so stuffed after. We came home to do more work (bleh) and watch The Office. We are hooked and have been watching on Netflix. Jim and Pam just got married!

This morning I made special Valentine pancakes for breakfast!
They were tasty and very festive.
We also tried taking a family picture with Zoe but she was feelin' sassy this morning.

I wore a bright pink top with a bow to work today!
I took a lunchtime yoga class on my pink mat!
And after work we ordered a heart-shaped pizza for dinner!
We are now relaxing and watching more of The Office.

How was your Valentine's Day? Do you love it as much as I do?
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

What I Love About Running

February is all about love. There are so many things I love: Zach, my family, Zoe, peanut butter, froyo, m&ms, pink...and running. The more I thought about it, there are so many things I love about running.
Here are just a few of the reasons why I LOVE running!

1. Food!: I try to eat healthy most of the time to fuel my body in the best way possible, but there is nothing like some ice cream or a cupcake after a long run!
2. Exploring new places: I have run in Florida, Mississippi, Rhode Island South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia...and that's just in the past year! There is no better way to explore a new place than to see it on foot!

3. It's always there: Running never lets me down. Anytime of the day or night, in any weather, running is there. Whenever I need it, it's there. It also doesn't judge my pace, outfit, or crazy train of thought.

4. The release of emotions: Regardless of what mood I started my run in, I always end a run happy. I've been angry, cried, happy, sad, nervous, etc. before a run, but when it ends I'm always in such a great mood!

5. The crazy running community: My fellow runners know this as well: there is no one who will understand you, your love for running, your runner problems, and want to talk and hear about running like another runner can. It's a huge community of camaraderie.
6. How strong it makes my legs feel: I love that burn when you run up a hill and make it to the top, or when you just ran ten miles. I love the muscle definition running gives my legs and how without running, I'd never would have gotten to smaller jeans size!
7. How I feel when I cross the finish line of a race: There is no greater feeling than working so hard to train for a race and then finally crossing the finish line! You are beyond tired and hungry and ready to be done, but the surge of energy and adrenaline as you cross the finish line cannot be matched!

8. I push myself towards my goals...and achieve them: This time last year, I never would have thought I'd be a half marathoner in a year. Or a two-time half marathoner! I've come such a long way, and my running goals have helped me achieve so much and push myself to set new goals and have something to work toward.
9. I get to wear pink shoes: I freakin' love my running shoes. And it gets even better, because it's about time for me to get new shoes, and the Gel Kayano 18's are pink too!
Are these not beautiful shoes?

10. My zen zone: Running lets me zone out and just run sometimes. I'm in a complete state of calm and happiness, something even yoga can't do. I do enjoy my newfound love of yoga and the way it makes my body feel, but yoga can't compare with the peace of running.
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Weekend in Pictures

What a whirlwind of a busy weekend!
Zach and I (and Zoe) headed to Jackson this weekend. Zach's cousin Shawn, who lives in Kentucky, came to MS for a week and there was a get together for him this weekend. Shawn stayed with us on Thursday night and we all went together after lunch to Jackson.

Zach asked Shawn to be his best man this weekend!

Friday we went car shopping! Zach's old car was unfixable after months of trying to repair it, so it was time for a new set of wheels.
We decided on a Honda CR-V! What a great car! We love it already!

Saturday I went to a chiropractor appointment, then Zach, Shawn and I went shopping! I got a new pink yoga mat! I also got two shirts from Target!

We had a fantastic dinner at Shawn's house then went back to Zach's grandparent's house where we stayed to visit with them, relax, and watch some movies! We watched Contagion, which was great! We also watched Drive, and by we I mean Zach because I fell asleep ten minutes into the movie.
Zoe cuddled during the movies too.
Fun but busy Saturday!

Today we got to sleep in and enjoy a family party for Shawn! We had great food and it was fun to see everyone! I love weekends like this!
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