Friday, March 29, 2013

PR, Passion & Puppy - H54F

Good morning my dear friends and readers! Today is Friday! And I know we must all be excited about that. The weekend is finally supposed to warm up, and get us back into the upper 70's, and I'm just really crossing my fingers that it actually happens. I'm ready to put away my sweaters for the year!

This afternoon after work, Jeff and I are heading up to middle Georgia to spend the night at his brother's house, and then drive a couple more hours on Saturday morning in order to pick up the twins for their spring break! They get to spend the whole next week down here, and so obviously we're super excited about that. Looking forward to getting to spend some time with them! Also, this will be the first time we've seen them since getting engaged, so we will finally tell them face-to-face about it. But first we have to figure out how! I might be Googling later "How to tell a 6-year-old what engaged means." Ya know, just for some references ;)

But this morning, let's hop right into High Five for Friday, with the ever-so-cute Lauren at From My Grey Desk.

1. This cute little boy had to get a bath the other night, and he doesn't like those. But then afterwards, he was so sweet and just laid with me for the longest time, resting his head on my leg. So cute!

2. Ate a delicious dinner at Earth Fare, and looooved it. That's broccoli and cranberry slaw, italian caprese, and vegan mock curry chicken salad. And I gobbled up every. single. bite. of that up there. Soo good.

3. Jillian kicked my butt on Wednesday after my mile run. I both love and hate her at the same time. She drives me crazy, but she sure does know what she's doing.

4. Oh you know, just taking some "selfies" in the car after Zumba...

5. Set a new PR for myself again this week! Last week's PR was at 12:58, so this one is 9 seconds faster! I'll be honest here and say, I am constantly amazing and impressing myself guys. I mean, when I first tried to run a couple of times back in August, it took me about 16:30 to run a mile. Sheesh. And now look at me go!! (Oh, and I was wearing my infamous penguin shirt when I hit this PR. I'm thinking it's my new lucky t-shirt.)

And here's the sixth thing, I just don't have a picture for it.... But I need you guys to keep it on the down low OK, so don't go blabbing this around just yet (Tally peeps, you especially). But, I have a job interview this afternoon, that I'm so dang excited for! It's a good job, with much better pay, benefits (I'm OPS now and have none), and at a great place. And that's all I'm gonna say about it now. It's at 3 p.m. this afternoon, so if you think about me, just say a quick prayer or send me some good thoughts :)

Also, more importantly than anything else I've shared in this post, today is Good Friday. The day that Jesus Christ died on a cross for all of our horrible sins, because he loved us so very much; because of his extreme passion for his children. He did that so that we wouldn't have to pay for our own sins, and so that we could have the chance to spend eternity in Heaven with him and the Father. What an amazing gift! Make sure you take some time to reflect on that, and celebrate the fact that although he died on Good Friday, he rose again on Easter morning!!! And that is truly something to celebrate. (You can read the story if you're interested in Matthew 27:11 - 28:10. Or feel free to chat with me too.)

I hope y'all have an amazing day today, and a great Easter weekend as well!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pasta, Pizza & Bread Should Have Zero Calories

Tuesday there was a fun link up floating around, but I didn't participate because that's also the day that I host my own link up. But it was so much fun reading everyone else's responses, that I figured I'd just jump in a couple of days late and join in as well. So today I'll be participating in Holly & Jake's "Finish the Sentence" link up! They're having a small contest for the funniest ones, but I'm not really a "funny" writer, so I'm just going to answer them normally :)


1. If calories didn't count, I would eat... every slice of bread, bowl of pasta, and piece of pizza I could possibly shovel into this mouth of mine. I'm a sucker for any kind of bread and carbs.

2. On my prom night... I danced a whole lot more with my friends and no one in particular than my actual date. He thought he was too good for some dancing, so I decided I didn't need him anyways...

3. When I go to the store, I always buy... bananas definitely, and all sorts of veggies.

4. Family functions typically...  are very loud, but lots of fun, and we almost always end up talking about something really gross, too personal, or just plain weird.

5. I think my blog readers... are some of the coolest ladies, who are so sweet and encouraging of this crazy weight loss journey I'm on! And have also become some great friends as well :)

6. I'd much rather be... laying on a beach, enjoying the smell of sunscreen and salty air wafting around me, the warm sunshine beating down on my skin, with a book in my right hand and a snack in my left.

7. I have an obsession with... dresses. Seriously - I own over 40 I'm sure (and I actually wear almost all of them! Maybe only like 6-8 that I don't), and I still buy new ones pretty frequently. I can justify that though, because I wear a dress 5 out of 7 days a week, so I'm definitely getting good use out of all of these! I loooove dresses :)

8. My work friends... are kind of nonexistent. The guy that works closest to me drives me absolutely INSANE with his stupidity and loud eating and teeth sucking and smacking noises, so he's definitely not my "friend." And the rest of them are all older-ish ladies. I mean, they're nice and we get along just fine, but I'm not buddy-buddy with any of them.

9. When I created my Facebook account... it was my last semester of high school and I was getting ready for college, so I finally had a college email address - back when that mattered in order to sign up for Facebook. And I definitely thought I was so awesome.

10. My least favorite word is... fester. Ick. Also, crud and crevice.

11. I really don't remember... not too much. I have a crazy memory when it comes to dates, events, places and such. I'm really observant, so I remember super weird details about almost everything.

12. Justin Bieber... isn't my favorite little fella, but I gotta admit some of his songs are incredible catchy, and I find myself singing along and groovin' a bit, despite the fact I will claim I don't like him.

Well now I just hopped over to Jake's blog, only to find out that the link up is actually closed...womp, womp, woooomp. That's stinks. But oh well, because this baby is already written, and so she's getting published anyways. Whatev's.

And on a completely unrelated note, Jeff and I finished the entire series of Fringe on Tuesday night, and I literally cried for the the last 20 minutes of the episode. It was so good! And so sweet, and awesome, and I was clearly very emotionally invested in these characters and this show. It was an awesome show, and I'm so glad we watched the whole thing over the last few months! But now what do we watch? Anyone have a favorite show to suggest? (That we can find on Netflix or Roku or Amazon Prime?!)

Happy Thursday ladies, only one more day until our ever-beloved weekend!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Process of Getting Healthy

OK. Florida is cold again today. And I'm more than over it folks. It's almost April and it's currently in the 30's! Not OK with me. Let's warm it on up, shall we please?! Despite the cold though, I'm feeling in a pretty good mood today, and that's probably due to my teeny tiny weight loss I get to report this week :) So let's get going and link up with Erin and Alex, for Weigh In Wednesday like usual!

Initial Starting Weight = 227
January Starting Weight = 217
Last Week, March 20 = 194.5
Today, March 27 = 194

Just a half a pound loss this week. But again, I'm not sad or disappointed that it's "only half a pound," because I plan on never seeing those five ounces again. I've said sayonara (thanks for the red squiggly line on that one!) to them, and they're gone for good. And I'm slowly still getting closer and closer to my lowest recent weight of 192 (August 2011), and I'm sure I'll be passing that in no time. 

My workouts this last week were pretty awesome, and I was proud of myself for keeping up with my routine. Also, I set a goal for myself last Wednesday to burn 3,000 between then and now, so let's see if I did! (Because I haven't even figured it out on my own yet before I'm just gonna list this all out...)

Wednesday: 2-mile run at the track and circuit stuff at home (505 calories)
Thursday: 1-mile run and 60 minutes of Zumba (715 calories)
Friday: 2-mile run around FSU campus (340 calories)
Saturday: 1.54-mile run with my dad around the track (206 calories)
Sunday: rest day
Monday: 2.7-mile walk during my lunch break with my aunt (338 calories)
Tuesday: 1-mile run and 60 minutes of Zumba (755 calories)

That's a total of 2,859 calories burned for the past week. Sadly, I didn't reach my goal of 3,000, but I was only off by 141, so I'd say that's pretty dang close! I'm not going to set that goal again for myself this week though, because I already know I won't be able to run or workout on Friday and probably Saturday, because Jeff and I are traveling to pick his boys for them to spend their spring break down here with us! So that's super exciting, but it limits workout time. But that's just fine :) I'll reset that goal for myself another time. This week's goal is just going to be 2,000.

And for my non-scale victory of the week, I once again beat my fastest mile! This happened last Wednesday on the first mile of my two-mile run, and I was so excited. That's six seconds faster than my previous time of 13:04 from two weeks ago. And I kept on running fast and pushing harder, and I ended up running my fastest two-miles yet as well, at 27:02!!

The problem though is, even though I did pretty great with my workouts, I did not eat so good for a few days... Thursday night I had pasta and bread, Friday night I ate a burger and chips, Saturday night I ate wings, (and my tummy paid for it later...), and Sunday night I ate too much chips and dip. The problem is, food is my weakness people. I can make myself workout and burn all sorts of calories, but it does me no good if I decide to eat buffalo wings with Bleu cheese for dinner on Saturday night. I've been learning that the hard way, and somehow I've got to get that through my head. If I truly want to lose weight, I can't just give in to food temptations nearly as often as I do. I need to learn more self control when it comes to my food choices and eating habits. Who knows what the scale might say by now if I had learned this lesson already?!

I'm not giving up though. I'm still pushing on and working hard, and trying to learn how to do this "healthy" thing the right way. Last Thursday night, I watched "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" for the first time, and it was extremely interesting, and I was completely captivated by the whole thing. It makes me so much more curious about this whole juicing craze! Also last week, I tried a green smoothie for the first time, and it was actually delicious. I'll definitely have that again.

And now I also want to find more documentaries and things to watch and read to learn more. I want to collect as much information as I can about trying to be healthy! For example, I stumbled across this new-to-me blog yesterday, and found a great post she just wrote about the FDA and their "regulations." It was very interesting, and certainly makes me want to learn more.

And since my brain is all kinds of scattered today, we're jumping back to the working out portion of this post, simply because I want to share my daily workout Instagram's. Every single time I workout I take some pictures. Of my shoes, or my watch, or my face, or a cheesy mirror pic. Doesn't matter. I take them every single time. And sure, it's because I want to show off and brag a little, why not? But it's also because it helps motivate myself, and it helps motivate others. And that's an awesome feeling. Going from being a lazy slob most of the time, into someone who is inspiring other girls to run or workout?! That's a crazy feeling for me. I loooove getting comments and emails from others saying that I'm inspiring and motivating them. It's an amazing thing! And like I've said before, that in turn motivates me to work harder. And it's a great cycle of motivation for everyone. And I love it. So, #sorryImnotsorry but I'm going to keep posting these pretty much all the time. Thanks for understanding :)

Wednesday - 2-mile run and at-home circuit stuff
Thursday - 1-mile run and Zumba. And those new Old Navy compression pants make my legs look skinnier :)

Friday - 2-mile run
Tuesday - 1-mile run and Zumba.
One Pound at a Time - I'll keep on pushing. And I'll keep on trying and learning and working hard. One Pound at a Time I'll reach my goals. And One Pound at a Time I'll keep working on the Process of Getting Healthy.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ponce Hall, Roommates & College Days - First Things First

It's another cold day down here in Florida, and they said on the radio this morning that it's actually 15-20 degrees colder this year than our usual averages for this time of year. That's not cool! Where did my glorious spring weather go? Not that I can complain too much, because half of the country just got half a foot of snow or more, including one of my lovely co-hosts... More importantly than the weather though, is another week of our First Things First link up! And this week we of course have another round of amazing co-hosts, Jess at Jess Is More and Veronica at Passion, Pink & Pearls!

First Roommate (s)
First Time Living Away from Home
First Dorm Room at College

First Roommate (s)
Well first of all, I wasn't able to go to Flagler my very first semester, because they had no room for me. It's a requirement for freshmen to live on-campus in the dorms, and they were full by the time I would have been accepted. So instead, I was accepted for the spring term in January, and I just went to community college for a semester here. So while that was happening, my future roommates had issues with the third girl in their room, and she was leaving, and they got to look through and pick out a new replacement - and they did an awesome job picking me out, because they were some fun first college roommates!

After the Christmas break, I was to move in about 4 days before the returning students, and I got there to find that Emily and Linnea had left cute notes and pictures all of the room for me :) Those first few days alone without them were hard and boring, and so when they finally got there, I was sooo dang excited!! They welcomed me with open arms, and we kicked off that first semester with a game night in our dorm room, with a group of some other girls. We had so much fun that semester together. We went to the beach, had game night every single week, had fire alarms go off three times in one night, dealt with the awful laundromat, visiting the Jax zoo, watching tons of movies on our laptops, and so many more fun memories!

First Time Living Away from Home
This goes hand-in-hand with the first question, because the first time I lived away from home was that spring semester of my freshman year, at Flagler College! Like I mentioned before, I moved in about four days before my roommates did though, and that was close to torturous. Talk about major homesickness! It was super quiet in the entire dorm, but also in my tiny room, and it was rough. But once the girls got there, the fun never seemed to stop. I met soooo many amazing girls that first semester I lived away from home, and seriously had a blast. There was just so much fun and freedom and opportunity and adventure! And I made sure I took advantage of all of that as often as I could. I mean, I was only taking 12 hours that first semester, and I didn't have a job, so I had plenty of free time to just live it up as a care free 19-year-old! And I loved every second of it.

First Dorm Room at College
First I just want to share some background info about my school, Flagler College. (I'm only going to share a little bit, but there is some amazing history and interesting facts about it, so take time to visit the links I provided!) It was originally built as the beautiful Ponce de Leon hotel by Henry Flagler, and opened in 1888. It was quite a fancy place, and definitely a popular destination. Then during WWII, it was used as a training center for the coast guard. It was also a very prominent part of the Civil Rights movement. Then in 1968, it was finally opened as Flagler College. (I could go on and on with cool stuff about the college, but I think I'll save that for another post - because now I'm so excited about sharing that with y'all!)

When the hotel was turned into the college, the main building of the hotel housed the girls' dorms. It was called Ponce Hall, but usually just shortened to Ponce. So like I mentioned before as well, Emily and Linnea had prepared the room for me, and left cute notes for me for when I moved in. It was a good-sized room with one bunk bed, and one additional twin bed. There were two real closets and I had the free-standing wardrobe. Then we each had a desk and a small dresser. There was even a cute fireplace in the room! (But it didn't work, it just looked pretty.) And we shared our suite-style bathroom with the room next to us. Luckily we really did have one of the bigger dorms, so we had tons of open floor space in the middle of the room. Even though it was a little bit cramped, it was still a great dorm room in general, and we had tons of fun in it! Our favorite thing to do was find ways to creatively hop up into the top bunk with flips and jumps and chairs and hoopla. That was fun times. I loved my dorm room days, and would definitely recommend it for at least a year in college. SO much fun. :)

If you'd like to join in on this fun link up, check out the super simple 'rules' below, and get to writing! Can't wait to see all the new link ups this week, meet new friends, and read y'all's posts!

1. Write your own post about this week's topics
2. Please follow me, as well as this week's co-hosts, Jess & Veronica.
3. Put the new button on your post or somewhere on your blog
4. Link up with us! (Link will appear on all three blogs.)
5. Visit some of the other links, and share the love with them on their posts!
6. Spread the word on Twitter and/or Facebook

And if you'd like to prepare and get ready for next week's First Things First link up, start by checking out next week's awesome co-hosts, Syndal @ Synfully Delicious and Erin @ Love, Fun & Football. Next week's topics are all about home sweet home:
1. First house or apartment on your own (either rented or owned, just away from your parents!)
2. First room you decorated in it, or would like to decorate
3. First thing you bought for it, or would like to buy

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ponytails, Popcorn, Presents & Puddles

This Monday morning in Florida is unnecessarily cold, and that doesn't really make me too happy, but at least it's not raining! It rained a LOT here over the past couple of days. There are still places with giant puddles of standing water everywhere this morning. Ready for a couple of dry days now! But even though it was raining, that didn't stop me from having a good weekend!

Friday after work, I picked up my Mama from her office (we only work 3 blocks down on the same street), and we headed to Florida State's campus for the baseball game! But first, I ran 2 miles all around the campus for my workout for the day. I didn't set any records for myself or anything, but it was still a good run for me.

Then after my run, I changed  back into jeans and my favorite Garnet and Gold t-shirt, and went into the game to meet my parents! It's difficult to eat "healthy" at the ball park, so honestly I just didn't really try... I did decide to split a burger with my mom, rather than eat the whole thing though. And that Bacon & Bleu Burger was sooo good. I spotted my friends Lacey and Josh there, so I went and hung with them and chatted for a bit! Then after the game, Mama and I went shopping at Ross, and she bought a new dress! Then we all went home, and watched a couple episodes of "The Walking Dead" while enjoying some popcorn with tamed jalapenos. Yummy snack.

 Saturday morning, my Papa and I woke up early, and went down to my old high school to run on the track. He's been walking a lot lately, like 10-12 miles a week sometimes, but not running. But I got him to actually run with me, and he did great! We even sprinted the last straight on the track, and he beat me big time. But his 6-foot-1-inch self has much longer legs than my 5-foot self, so that's hardly fair... :)

And then we had a beautiful wedding shower for my baby sister!! Seven lovely ladies from our church, along with one of the other bridesmaids, threw a lovely shower at the church, and they did an excellent job! It was decorated so nicely, and she seriously racked up in the awesome present department. And some super nice ladies came to visit and we had a good time catching up with old friends from our former church, and of course spending time with everyone!

After the shower, we took Megan's wedding dress to be fitted for alterations, and then headed to her new house to unload all of the goodies! And we took the time to unpack everything into her cabinets as well and help organize some stuff. They actually just closed on their very own house just the week before, so this was my first time seeing it! But it's super cute, and I'm officially super jealous. And also, it feels toooo much like my little baby sister is all grown up on me. It's a very weird feeling, and I'm not sure if I like it.

On the porch of her cute new house. And she planted that little garden herself already :)

Then Mama and I went to do some more shopping, and I got a new Easter dress. And then it was dinner time, so we met my Papa and Megan and Bo to eat. I was naughty and ate buffalo wings with bleu cheese, but I paid for it later and learned I actually can't eat the way I used to. It was definitely the hard way to learn that lesson, but I don't think I'll be trying that again anytime soon... And then later that night, Jeff and his family finally got home from their overnight trip, and so I went over and spent the rest of the night watching "Fringe" with my sweet fiance!

Sunday morning, we were awakened early in the morning by some crazy rain, wind and a giant storm - and also no electricity. Which made getting dressed for church a bit tricky. And my sister and I ended up dressing verrrry similar - simple cotton dress, white cami underneath, ponytail, white watch, sandals, and quilted floral purse. (Normally we wear the purse on the same side too, she just switched it because it was in the way for the picture.) So of course we had to document ourselves :)

After church and lunch, I went over to Jeff's house. We spent a good chunk of time cleaning, straightening and organizing his crazy room, and it made me feel soo much better to get things looking more neat and orderly in there :) Then we watched a couple episodes of Fringe to relax, then joined in the Life Group Bible study that was being held at his house. We all fellowship-ed and ate dinner together, and then Jeff and I returned for me to paint my fingers and toes, and watch some more Fringe! We're on the final season now, with only two episodes left, and I'm sad and don't really want it to end... But earlier in the afternoon, Megan and Bo sent texts to our whole family saying "This is our new couch!" So they just made a big furniture purchase for their cute new house! (They also got a regular-sized couch to go along with the love seat below as well.)

Phew. That was a lot of stuff to share from the weekend! And no doubt I did some rambling, just like always, but hopefully y'all don't mind that too much! :) It was a slightly busy weekend, but it was the good kind, and I had a great time with my family and with Jeff. And I also got to do some relaxing and TV-watching as well. I like weekends like this. And even though it's double crazy-crazy to see my baby sister growing up so fast on me, I'm still so dang excited for her and this next part of her little life! Love you Little Seester :)

How were y'all's weekends? Was it crazy stormy where you live too? What fun things did you do this weekend?!

Linking up today with Sami's Shenanigans and Synfully Delicious.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Peppier Than Ever - H54F

Last week was the first time I joined in on the very popular High Five for Friday, and it was lots of fun, so I'm doing it again! So I'll be linking up again today with Lauren from At My Grey Desk. You can should us too!

1. Last week I told you that I ran my fastest mile ever - well I beat that again and set a new PR for myself on Wednesday. Last week's mile was at 13:04, and this week was at 12:58 - which is 6 seconds faster!

2. I've been noticing a lot of my clothes are getting bigger and baggier. This t-shirt used to be a tiny bit snug on me, but now it falls down past the bootay.

3. Made some time to just sit around and read my favorite magazine earlier this week.

4. Loooved getting to spend some time in the sunshine at the beach with my dear fiance on Sunday. We may have both gotten burned, but it was worth it to be sitting by the ocean :)

5. Made quesadilla pizza for the first time, and it was delicious! Can't wait to do it again, and try out new "topping" combinations and see what else we can come up with!

Tonight after work I'm going to run a couple miles around the FSU campus, and then go to the FSU baseball game with my parents! (They have season tickets, and I'm just joining them for today.) Tomorrow morning is the second wedding shower for my sister, and this one is being given by the ladies at our church. Should be lovely! Then after the shower I believe we have some more wedding-related errands to run and we'll just hang out a bit.

After work, Jeff is going to middle-Georgia today with his parents, to attend the 1st birthday party of his niece which is tomorrow. Then when they get home tomorrow night, hopefully it won't be too late so I can go over to see him! I have no specific Sunday plans yet, but hopefully it will be a nice relaxing day. I never made it to Kohl's last weekend like I wanted to, so maybe I can do that on Sunday afternoon sometime!

And guys - lately, I've just been feeling Peppier Than Ever. I'm feeling great in the mornings, despite not drinking coffee. (I gave it up during my Daniel Fast starting January 8, and still haven't had any since then.) I have tons of energy, and I'm pretty sure I can attribute that to a better diet and more exercise! This getting healthy thing is going great ;)

I hope y'all have had a good week, but I hope that your weekend is even better! What are y'all's plans? I wanna hear 'em!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pizza: My Skinnier Recipe Options

First of all, we all know by now that I'm on a weight loss journey to become more fit and more healthy. And I'm really loving how hard I've been pushing myself and all that I've accomplished so far. (In case you're new around here, you can read my entire weight loss story up 'til January HERE, and read all my weight loss posts in general HERE.)

But despite all of that, and how healthy I try to eat about 85% of the time, there are most definitely still times where I crave my "fat-girl" food. Things like pasta (duh), bread of any kind, sweets, chocolate and of course pizza. So I've been trying to find ways to satisfy some of these cravings, without loading myself up with tons of carbs, sodium and fat. I definitely can't order a pizza, or buy a frozen one, because those are never healthy. So I need to handle it myself, and I've found two great ways to satisfy my pizza cravings, and still eat healthy-ish! :)

The first option, is a pizza quesadilla! We made these last Friday night for our dinner, and I absolutely looooved it. And so did Jeff. And it was super simple, of course. Because that's really the only way I like to cook...You may or may not remember way back last fall sometime, I shared our special recipe for Popeye's Pizza? Well, I used those same ingredients (minus the mushrooms because Jeff can't eat them), but put it in a quesadilla instead of on a pizza crust. So here's the run down of the ingredients, and the calorie count, based on MyFitnessPal:

And guys, this is soo easy to make. Start by heating a large skillet, and when it's hot, add in about a tablespoon of olive oil to coat the pan. Throw in all the sun dried tomatoes first (we used about half of the bag they come in), let them sit for a minute or so, then add in a handful of spinach. Stir while sauteing, until spinach is completely wilted, then add in another big handful. (This will be enough to fill two large quesadilla's, for two people. That's why the MFP says only 1 cup of spinach per serving.) Once all the spinach is wilted, put aside in a bowl.

Lay out two tortillas, and spread a generous helping of the sauce on each one. (We used about 1/4 cup on each one, since that was the serving size on the jar.) Then divide up your spinach and sun dried tomato mix between the two tortillas, spreading it all out. Lay as many pepperoni's on each one as you would like! (Again we did the serving size.) Then top each one with 1/4 cup of shredded, fat free mozzarella cheese!

Spray your same skillet with some cooking spray, and then very carefully transfer one of the loaded-up tortillas to your skillet, then throw another plain tortilla on top of it to finish it up! Let it hang out in the skillet for about 4-5 minutes, then flip the entire thing. (We found the best method for flipping it was to hold a lid on top of the skillet, flipping the whole thing over so that the pizza is transferred to the lid, then sliding it back down into the skillet on the other side. Thanks to Jeff's mama for that tip!)

Leave it in there for another 3-4 minutes (the second side takes a little less time), then slide the whole thing back onto your plate. Use a pizza cutter to slice it into four triangles, and then gobble it up!

We each had our own quesadilla pizza, and we had actually made a third (with just sauce, cheese and pepperoni), to split in case we were still hungry. But these were super filling. In fact, I probably should have stopped after three pieces of mine and could have been pretty full, but I liked it so much I ate the whole thing. But at just 575 calories for the entire quesadilla, it was a super filling meal, that tasted great! We never ate the extra one, but I'm thinking I should for my lunch today...

With this kind of quesadilla pizza, you can change it up to make it your own, and put whatever you want inside of it. If think you don't like spinach though - I still say you should try it. It doesn't have too much flavor on it's own this way, but it's good for you, so give it a chance. What kind of stuff would you fill your quesadilla pizza with? We definitely want to try out some more options with this, so give me some new ideas!

And then the second pizza option I found, is even easier than the first, and tastes just as yummy. I just use one Arnold Sandwich Thin to make two mini pizzas! Start by putting the bread in the toaster just long enough to get it a little crispy, and turn your oven on broil. Line a small baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil (this just makes for super easy "clean up"), and then place the bread on that. Spread about a tablespoon or so of the sauce on each piece of bread, then lay out the pepperoni's, and top with cheese. Put baking sheet in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes, just so everything gets warm and the cheese gets melty!

The MFP screen shot and the pizzas above are with the same sauce we used for the quesadilla pizzas from last week, and it's delicious. But I made these mini pizzas again last night for my dinner, and I used just regular spaghetti/marinara sauce, and that was super yummy too, and a few less calories as well. The pictures above were from my lunch the other day, and with one tiny cutie clementine and a fat free light yogurt, it was a grand total of 415 calories. And I was full for hours. And it tasted delicious!

So these are two options I've come up with so far that satisfy my cravings for the wonderfulness of pizza that is bread, cheese and sauciness. But these options don't overload me with unhealthiness and tons of calories. Definitely glad I figured out these options! :)

What are some of your favorite "skinny" recipes? Either for pizza, or something completely different!? I'm constantly pinning new Healthy Yummies, and of course I've love some more to check out, especially if they have been tested and approved by y'all! I'd love to hear some of your favorites!

And since I got the ideas for these from Pinterest, I'm linking up with Katie and Stephanie for "Saw it. Pinned it. Did it."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pump Up the Weight Loss

Here we are - halfway through another work week. And of course that makes me happy! And of course that makes today another Weigh In Wednesday post with Alex and Erin. So let's get straight to it!

Initial Starting Weight = 227
January Starting Weight = 217
Last Week, March 13 = 197.5
Today, March 20 = 194.5

So "technically" since last Wednesday, that's a loss of three pounds. However, last week was actually a gain of two pounds, because the week before I was at 195.5. So really, I'm gonna say I just lost one pound. But ONE POUND is still great! My motto for this journey is after all "One Pound at a Time." And so one pound at a time I'll reach my goals.

And let's jump right into my exercise from the past week and my calories burned...

Wednesday: 2-mile run (the first mile was my fastest yet!) and some at-home circuit stuff (605 calories)
Thursday: 1-mile run (150 cals) and 60 minutes of Zumba (595 cals) = 745 total cals
Friday: 2-mile run (364 cals) and this has been my fastest two miles yet!
Saturday: 1-mile run (150 cals) and at-home circuit stuff (155 cals) = 305 total cals
Sunday: rest day
Monday: 45-minute lunch time walk with my Aunt Q (233 cals)
Tuesday: 1-mile run (150 cals) and 60 minutes of Zumba (613 cals) = 763 total cals

I'd say that's a pretty great week of workouts, wouldn't you? I mean, that's 2,865 total calories burned in a week! Maybe I should make this week's goal to burn 3,000? Yes. I just made that my goal before next Wednesday. Let's do this!

Last Thursday - me before zumba on the left, and total calories burned from my run and zumba on the right!

And I did pretty well staying under my daily calorie goal on MyFitnessPal as well. I think my stomach has really gotten used to eating less, and so it's easier for me to get fuller off of smaller meals and snacks. Which is great news! Because obviously this girl hates to be hungry. And I've been trying to not eat back my exercise calories, and stay under my normal goal as if those "extra" calories aren't there at all. And I think that's part of what's helping me. Today actually, when I entered in my new weight of 194.5, it recalculated my daily goal, and brought me from 1480 calories a day, down to 1420. (I very first started somewhere around 1600 or so.)

And for a quick non-scale victory report (to link up with Katie on Thursday) - I'm really starting to notice a difference in quite a bit of my clothing. Things are starting to get baggier and saggier in new places, and some things are just too big. My jeans and black work pants are both really big and saggy in the but/thigh area. A lot of my dresses are starting to hang differently on me. Size large t-shirts that were once a bit snug, are now big and long on me. (Shown in the bottom right of the picture below.) And when I bought a new dress at Old Navy the other day, I first tried on my normal XL, but it was too big and so I went down to the Large!

Yesterday after running and zumba. Looots of water, total calories burned, and a shirt that's too big now!

Since the beginning of my entire weight loss journey, I'm now down a total of 32.5 pounds, and 22.5 of that has been lost since January 8!! My lowest recent weight was August 2011, at 192. I will be so pumped when I make it there again, and hopefully it'll be soon! My diet bet still has two weeks left in it, but it's not looking good right now. I'm supposed to weigh 189.1 by April 2. So that means I still have to lose 5 more pounds in two weeks...yeah that's discouraging. But that doesn't mean I'm giving up. I just might not win my money back...

Also, so many of y'all have been telling me that I'm an inspiration to you to start working out and exercising more. And guys - this is still crazy for me. Even though I've been hearing that for a couple of weeks now, it's still something I'm not used to. I'm not a crazy fitness expert or guru, I'm just a girl who wants to finally shed some weight. I hardly even know what I'm doing most of the time. But if I'm motivating and inspiring you, then that makes me super duper happy. It means that sharing this story and this journey on my blog has been worth it. Worth the risk of admitting my weight every week for friends, family and bloggers. Worth me pushing myself and working hard, so that others might start their own journey towards getting healthier.

And you know what? It also creates a nice little cycle of motivation. Because when  y'all tell me that I'm motivating and inspiring you - it actually makes me want to work harder! I think about y'all when I'm running and want to stop. I think about you when I'm sweating buckets in Zumba and "need" a break. You guys say that I'm inspiring you - but this road is going both way here friends. And for that I'm so very thankful! I really do love sharing this journey with y'all!

In the next couple of months though, I really want to find some extra ways to Pump Up the Weight Loss. My original short-term goal was to be at 180 by my sister's wedding, which is May 18. That means I have 14 pounds to lose in a little less than two months. I need to get movin' on this! What kind of exercise tips do y'all have for me? What are your favorite things to do to workout? Should I think about joining a gym again, since I never did? How can I Pump Up the Weight Loss over the next two months?!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Post, Comment & Friend #1 - First Things First

Hello to y'all on this Tuesday morning! Like I've said before, Tuesday's are always fun for me here in blog-land, because Tuesday's always mean the First Things First link up! This is actually our 11th week of this link up, and the third week of awesome co-hosts. And of course today's co-host's are no exception. Today's co-hosts are Jenna @ Life is Sweet and Kristyn @ Carolina Fireflies! I feel special connections with these two, because Jenna lives not too far from me here in Florida, and Kristyn attended FSU and is a Florida State Seminole's fan like myself!

And our first topics for today are all blog-related:

First ever blog post
First ever blog comment
First ever blog-friend or friends

First ever blog post:
I first started "blogging" in college, when I had to write a couple blogs as part of class assignments. (My degree is in communication.) So I actually had three other blogs before I started this one. ("Serving in Love" - about doing mission work and serving others; "Song & Verse Connections" - trying to find deeper meanings in 'secular' songs; and "My Digital Imagination" - was for my photojournalism class. I still add pictures to this one very rarely.)

Anyways, I knew about blogging and how to blog, but didn't have one of my own. Some of my friends from college did though, and I loved them. Then while on an amazing 10-day road trip with some of my bestest girlfriends, they convinced me that I really could and should start a blog. So the day after we got back, and went on to Blogger, and created yet another blog - but this time it was personal. (That sounded like I was talking about a threat or something...) My first post was just something short and sweet, stating that I was (obviously) starting a blog. To me, I can't decide whether that post makes me sound really dumb/silly or whether I still sound exactly the same...? Real exciting stuff nonetheless. At least I've gotten better since then, right?

However, it did make me realize that I've still never talked about that awesome vacation - the GART - which stands for Great American Road Trip. So I most definitely need to do that sometime.

First ever blog comment:
This first ever comment I got on this blog was from my Youth Pastor turned mentor turned employer turned friend turned who-even-knows-what-exactly-to-call-him-now, back just a few weeks into this blog. I had posted about ordering my first pair of TOMS, and he commented on that post wanting to know if I ever gotten them! I did of course, and loved them right away. Then for months and months and months, I really only shared my blog with my friends and family. And all of them were so good about commenting all the time! And I loved knowing they were reading my blog too. (Kaley, Maggie, Dani, Christina, Nicole, Megan, Amanda, & Rae).

Then the first comment I ever got from a "stranger" was just last March, on this Picture Every Hour post from just a little over a year ago, from Jesse at Well, It's Okay. She said she loved all the things in my blog title, and loved looking at the pictures from my trip! I was overjoyed and excited with this first comment from a stranger! I hardly knew what to do with myself. Then a few more months went by with just comments from friends and family, and then finally I started to really get serious about this blogging thing last September. Since then, I feel like it's just blown up and I love how this blog has taken off lately. Love it! And love making friends with all you wonderful ladies! :)

First ever blog-friend or friends:
Ummm....I'm think my first ever blog-friend was probably the lovely Hallie at Life: Oceanside!! I'm not sure which one of us found the other one first, but we were so excited, because we are so similar! Our names are really close, obviously, we both live in Florida, we both love the Seminoles and we definitely love the beach. She was the first one I ever "guest posted" for, with a super yummy pumpkin cupcake recipe. From then on, we exchanged lots of emails and comments and bloggy-love, and eventually, we even started this very link up together!! (For those that are new, she's taking a break from co-hosting for a couple months, because she's super busy getting ready for her wedding, which is now just under two weeks away!!)

Then some of the other girls who I made connections with around that time were: Syndal at Synfully Delicious, Amy at Positively Amy (formerly Not Your Average Baby Blog) and Lauren at Outside the Frame.Since then, I have made seemingly countless friendships here in the blog world! And that is something I am seriously soooo thankful for!! Not that I think I will remember them all, but here are some other awesome ladies that I'm so glad I'm blog-friends with now: Angie, Erin, Robin, Kaitlyn, Gayle, Ricci, Jenna, Kayla, Jess, Whitney, AunieVeronica, Bri & Rachel. And of course Jenna & Kristyn! Glad to have you ladies as part of my blog-life, and my real life too! :)

If you'd like to join in on this fun link up, check out the super simple 'rules' below, and get to writing! Can't wait to see all the new link ups this week, meet new friends, and read y'all's posts!

1. Write your own post about this week's topics
2. Please follow me, as well as this week's co-hosts, Jenna & Kristyn.
3. Put the new button on your post or somewhere on your blog
4. Link up with us! (Link will appear on all three blogs.)
5. Visit some of the other links, and share the love with them on their posts!
6. Spread the word on Twitter and/or Facebook

And if you'd like to prepare and get ready for next week's First Things First link up, start by checking out next week's awesome co-hosts,  Veronica @ Passion, Pink & Pearls and Jess @ Jess Is More.  Next week's first topics will be about the beginning of our college days, with:
1. First roommate(s)
2. First time living away from home (when/where/why)
3. First college dorm room (we want to see pictures and read explanations!)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Professional Style Spring Break

So, many of us have moved past our fun college days, right? I have at least. Sadly. (College was seriously so much more fun than the "grown-up world!") And I'm extremely jealous of those of you that still get to go away for a week and live it up on the beach, while I'm just slaving away at my office desk, under bad fluorescent lighting. So, when my blog-friend Veronica @ Passion, Pink & Pearls wanted to do this fun link-up for a blogger's spring break? I was totally in! Introducing, How to Spring Break in the Working World!

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Let me break it down for you. Everyday this week, there are certain Spring Break-like activities that I and I hope many of you will participate in, then we'll share with each other our working world spring break here! Check it out:

Day One: Hit the Beach!
Wear your flip flops and shades. If they cannot be worn to work then break them out at home. Refuse to wear anything but flip flops and sunglasses, that is on your feet and face...don't be going nude yall.

Day Two: Time to Snack it Out
You heard me right, break that diet today! If you were on a spring break trip right now you'd be eating some fried fish and ice cream. So grab your favorite snacks/ "junk food" and enjoy it!

Day Three: Bring on the Romance
It's time you found your spring break fling...and by that I mean find your favorite beachy romance movie, kick your feet back and rest your sweet bum on the sofa.

Day Four: Refresh Yourself
Bring down that dusty blender and serve up your favorite fruity drink, top it off with a tiny umbrella and ask your hunny for a massage.

Day Five: Out on the Town
You've played in the sun and now it's time to bask in the moonlight. Grab your hunny or your gal pals and go do something fun like put-put!

Day Six: Yellow Polka Dots
By now your tan is looking pretty smooth so it's time to strut your stuff in your swimsuit. No matter where you are, put that swimsuit on. If your weather is nice go outside, otherwise wear it around the house and pretend your bed is the ocean. But please friends, don't be wearing it to work, it's probably not allowed and I will not stick up for you in front of your boss.

Day Seven: Pack it on Up
It's time to cram into the car and go home spring breakers aka clean that house and get ready for spring! I know, I know, but we all knew it was coming.

You guessed it,
It's a LINK-UP!
...and some fabulous ladies are joining me as co-hosts!
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The Game Plan:
Grab the button and share the plans, let everyone else know!
Participate in each day's spring break fun and take pictures of it!
Post the pictures of how you participated each day!
Instagram some of the pictures! Make sure to tag them: #SBProStyle (aka Spring Break Professional Style)
Link up your blog (not each post though, just your blog in general, the same link-up tool will stay up all week)
Follow some of these lovely ladies helping me out!

The Co Hosts:
Marquis @ SimplyClarke

Halie @ Penguins, Pasta & PolkaDots

Shae @ Sprinkles & Glitter

Karla @ ForeverNewlyWedded

Kelly @ TodayWasAFairytale

Bri @ My Life Would Suck Without Me

So Link-Up and Have Fun on Spring Break!

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Patty's, Pizza & (Green) Polka Dots

Happy Monday loves! Did we all have a great weekend? I did, and I certainly would rather it still be the weekend. But instead of complaining about it, I'll just reminisce on the last couple of days, and share with y'all as well, of course :)

Friday, I went for a run right after work. I went to the local high school, and did two miles. My first mile was in exactly the same time as my fastest one from last week, at 13:04. And my total for the two miles was in 27:36. Which I just realized has actually been my fastest two miles yet! (Only by about 5 seconds, but still an improvement!) Then Jeff and I ran by Publix to grab some groceries, and we cooked ourselves a super yummy dinner. We made quesadilla pizza's for the first time, and looooved them. I'll be sharing more specifics about them on Thursday probably :) Then we just took it easy for the rest of the night, and watched a couple episodes of Fringe, and a re-run or two of How I Met Your Mother. Super chill, and really cozy and relaxing.

Saturday morning, I slept in just a little bit, but then finally got up when the dog wouldn't stop barking for no reason...But since I was up, I decided to be productive, so I went out for a short mile run around my neighborhood. But I hadn't drank any water and I was barely awake, so I went really slow and got a cramp. Not the best run, but it's okay. At least I did it. Then I went through some circuits at home for the belly, booty, arms & legs. I showered, got dressed, packed a beach bag, and headed to Jeff's house. And then we packed up the car to head down to the beach for a few hours! This time we decided to check out Shell Point, because it's really super close, and we both enjoyed it! It's just a tiny little place, but the weather was perfect, and it was so easy to get to, and they had great restroom facilities! (And for anyone who knows me, you know how important this is for my tiny bladder.)

Well then we were starting to feel a little sunburned (even though we were putting sunscreen on pretty frequently), so we decided to head out. When we got back to town, I really wanted to check out the sales at Old Navy, so we ran in there really quick, and discovered how red we were actually looking. Oopsie. I got a new dress (in the background of picture below), workout capris and workout tank, all with a gift card from my birthday! Hooray! Then we went to dinner at Beef O'Brady's with Jeff's mama and Granny, where there was some little convention of convertibles happening or something. Granny's favorite was the oldest one there, so we had her take a picture on front of it. The rest of the night we watched some more episodes of Fringe, I painted my nails festive for St. Patty's, and we applied sunburn lotion on ourselves a couple of times...

Sunday morning, my mama wasn't feeling good, but my dad and I went to church to teach our 3rd grade Sunday school class. But since it was their spring break week, we only had one kid, so she went in with another grade, and we decided to hit the road. So instead I went to Jeff's church for the morning! Afterwards, we went to lunch with his family and a guest from their church, and even though I tried to be "healthy" at Logan's, I didn't end up being too successful. Those rolls are too delicious to resits one! Later we went to Publix for some groceries, dropped them off at my house, then went back to his house. And guess what? We watched some more episodes of Fringe :) And even though we really didn't celebrate St. Patrick's Day at all, we were both still wearing green and looking cute, and I was rocking my festive nails.

For the most part, it was a really easy-going, chill weekend. I got in a few runs and did a load of laundry, but that was about as "productive" as it got. And I'm completely okay with that. Those kind of relaxing weekends are just what you need sometimes, rather than a packed schedule that leaves you needing more rest. However, I am still hurting from the sunburn, and I'm more than ready for that make it's way outta here! I hope y'all also had a good weekend too!

Linking up today with Covered in Grace, Glitter & Gloss, Sami's Shenanigans and Synfully Delicious.