Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Accessory Auction

Happy dreary day turned gorgeous! Seriously, when I went out for my run this morning the weather was awful - think 94% humidity and fog. All I wanted to do was run back to SRD and curl up with a good book or movie. It's rather unfortunate that I had four and a half hours of class to attend! Luckily, the weather has changed and is now very beautiful, but still a little bit warm for it being January (almost February)!
My view whenever I run - yes, I'm spoiled! :)
Last night I was able to cross something off the bucket list. I participated in something called Accessory Auctions, which is an online auction of, you guessed it, accessories! Basically what happens is the admins of the Accessory Auctions Facebook page will post a photo of an item - maybe a scarf, a watch, a pair of earrings, a necklace, etc., along with the quantity of the item they have available and the price. In order to be eligible to win an item you must post a comment underneath the picture with the word "sold" followed by your email address. It really is a bit of a matter of luck because dozens of people comment at the same second for a very limited quantity of an item. It really is very fun and I would say that there are hundreds of ladies glued to their computers every Monday night at 8pm CST. Last night there were actually some technical difficulties in regards to posting the photos and I thought some of these ladies were going to go crazy. I bid on two items and actually managed to win both of them - one was a Michael Kors inspired silver watch and the other was a gray infinity scarf. Unfortunately the pictures are no longer on Facebook but I will definitely post pictures when they arrive in the mail!

Workout + Breakfast

This morning my alarm went off a little bit before 7 and my first thought was that I was tired and didn't feel like working out this morning before class and that I would just do an easy workout after class. My alarm kept going off (thank you snooze button) and I realized that if I didn't get up now, my workout would not happen today as immediately after class I had to work the desk and I knew that I would have a pretty hefty amount of school work to do, so I decided to get my butt up (20 minutes later) and go for a 3.5-4ish mile run around campus before completing this leg workout:

24 lbs
One-legged leg press
75 lbs
Step Ups*
20 lbs
15 each leg
Calf Raises*
40 lbs
15 each leg
Wall Sit

60 seconds
Ball Crunches

Side Ball Crunches

*Exercises with an * were done in a superset - I did all three sets back-to-back
**Broken up into three different sets - 60 --> 40 --> 20
Those wall-sits left my legs shakin'! I haven't done wall sits like that since my senior year of high school during volleyball season! After a shower I headed downstairs for breakfast where I enjoyed my usual yogurt breakfast, but this time I also enjoyed some scrambled egg whites for some added protein to power me through four and a half hours of class.

And last but not least, I want to wish a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to two of my oldest friends - Lindsey and Emily! They turn TWENTY years old today and I have known them for sixteen of those years. They are both such huge blessings in my life and I wish them both the most special day ever! I love y'all!

Lindsey and I in Pre-K!
Emily and I in our church league softball days!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chimpanzee(s) Riding on a Segway

Happy Sunday Fitness and Froyo readers! I hope you all are having a restful and productive day, if such a thing is possible! :)

I have been pretty productive thus far and hope to continue that for the rest of the day as well! I woke up around 8:00 this morning, which to me is considered sleeping in, and promptly began reading "The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" for a while before heading over to the bank to get some money and then making the trek over to Gregory Gym to swim some laps for the first time in a while. I may have mentioned before that I really like to have my own lane of the pool, but of course I will share when necessary. About halfway through my swim two people asked if they could share with me and I said yes, but they proved to be problematic people to share a lane with so I ended up moving to a different lane after a few laps of sharing with them. I walked back to SRD where I completed this arm/total body workout:

My arms are definitely feeling the burn, which I love! I am hoping to squeeze in a 20-minute treadmill workout, inspired by PBFingers of course, after I work the desk today and before I head to church, but we'll see if that actually ends up happening!


Lunch today was delicious, and the first step on my mission to start eating more salads and vegetables. I am not a huge salad lover but I am trying to eat them more often in the hope that I will really start to enjoy them. I have definitely found a winning combination: grilled chicken with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and I hope to expand my taste buds a little bit more this semester! The only problem with salads is the fact that they don't hold me over for very long but I can always eat something on the side!

Segway Tour

Now for the title of my post. Last night three of my friends and I went on a Segway Tour of Austin. Yes, Austin offers Segway tours. We took the tour through SegCity. I bet you thought only mall cops rode them, huh? Well, after last night, my friends and I are total pros and we collectively agreed that the next time there is a Groupon or LivingSocial deal for Segway Tours, we are definitely purchasing them again - it was so worth it!

We started out by learning the basics of riding the Segway - how to balance, how to make it go, and most importantly, how to stop. The Segway actually works to balance you forward and backward, so it is not difficult, but it can seem a little challenging when you are first learning and trying it out for the first time! Luckily, we were put through a "test" of going forward, backward, stopping, turning, and doing the "butt stop," necessary just in case we needed to make any sudden stops! Don't worry, none were needed on this tour!

During Segway training - would you say that I was a little nervous?

Natalie and Katie sporting the super fashionable helmets!

Katie balancing
Butt stop!

There is no "on" button that you press to make it go, you simply lean forward into the handlebars, 'closing the gap' between you and the handlebars. To make it stop, you open the gap and remain in a balanced position to make the segway remain in the same place, such as at a stoplight of some kind. When we hit the capitol we were given some freedom with speed and doing some zig-zag movements and we just had the best time! I always see people on segway tours when I am running, and it was fun to actually be one of the people on the segway! We even ran into two other segway tours while we were on our journey. It was an absolute blast and I definitely recommend one if you are ever in a city that offers the tours - we got magnificent views of Austin at night!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is a very special day, and I am sure you can guess what it is based on the title of my post. That's right, it is my mom's birthday! I wish I could be there to celebrate with her, but then again, she doesn't want her birthday to be made a big deal anyway!
I did send her a present though, and I was so excited about it. She was excited about it too - she called me at 8:15 this morning expressing her excitement at receiving these Tory Burch 'Adonis' Flip Flop Wedges.

My mom and I were boot shopping over the break and she saw these at Nordstrom and immediately expressed her interest in them. My ears perked up when she said she wanted a pair because she almost never comes out and tells us what she wants for her birthday, so this made the shopping a whole lot easier this year! They are cute, practical, and perfect to wear to Stratford Baseball games!

Thanks for being the best mom ever and blessing me every single day of my life. Thank you for attending every single one of my volleyball games. Thank you for sitting through all those volleyball tournaments that began at the crack of dawn every single weekend. Thank you for sitting up with me when I was stressed and helping me with various papers and projects. Thank you for being the best editor I could ask for. Thank you for taking on the stress of being in charge of Sweet Sixteen so you could guarantee that I would be able to go. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and showing me what it means to be a selfless person. You are the best friend I could have and I hope you have the most special day ever!

Workout + Lunch

I went to bed last night with the intent that I was going to do my daunting 9-mile run first thing in the morning and get it out of the way for the day. However, when I woke up it was cold and I was a bit hungry, so I decided to get breakfast and do a bit of reading that I neglected last night in favor of watching She's the Man. I don't regret it, that movie is one of my absolute favorites! So around 11 I headed out the door to Town Lake to run my 9-miles (or what I think was 9-miles, I am still crossing my fingers for a Garmin one day!), and I could not have dreamed up more perfect weather. It was cool, but not cold, but I wasn't so hot that the heat was all I could think about. It was a gorgeous sunny day and it feels so good to have that out of the way for the weekend!
Town Lake

After a shower I headed down to lunch, which was absolutely wonderful: fish tacos. Fish tacos are one of my favorite meals and SRD does fish up right! I had two Baja fish tacos with a side of black beans. My stomach is happy!

I am off to do a bit of reading on the hammocks outside on this beautiful January day before I head to campaigners! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Good morning Fitness and Froyo readers! The wonderful rain ruined my plan of either running or swimming this morning so I decided to take this time for a new blog post! 

Over Christmas break I decided to finally experiment with some recipes that I found on Pinterest. I pinned all last semester and wanted to be able to say I did SOMETHING with those pins and not just let them sit in cyberspace. 

First up on the list?

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is what they are SUPPOSED to look like!
The recipe looked simple enough, but then again, it was a recipe that dealt with stuffing a cookie INSIDE of another cookie. Who would have thought? People are so creative!

I started out by making the chocolate chip cookie dough - courtesy of the back of the bag of Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips.

Following the recipe, I then got a scoop of dough to put on top of the oreo and a scoop of dough to put on the bottom. I then rounded the dough around the oreo so that the entire oreo was covered with the dough. After that, all I had to do was place the dough on a parchment lined baking tray and put them in the oven for about 13 minutes. The end result?

Okay, maybe they don't look quite as good as the ones displayed on Pinterest, but my taste tester assured me that they were delicious!

These cookies were a lot of fun to make and apparently they taste just as good as they look! Thanks, Pinterest, for a new recipe to add to my collection! If you ever have the urge to bake, give these a try, I guarantee you will make your family and friends very, very happy!
  • 1/2 cup oats (50g)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (and 1/8 tsp nutmeg, if making pumpkin version)
  • sweetener, such as 1 1/2 to 2T maple syrup or 1 to 1 1/2 packs stevia (I used much less, but I’ve cautioned y’all before about my lack of sweet tooth.)
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin or applesauce
  • 1/4 cup milk or creamer or water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Optional: 1 to 2T oil or favorite nut butter (if oil, scale the milk back a tiny bit)
  • Optional: raisins, walnuts, brown sugar for the top (I didn’t use any optional ingredients, but maybe next time I’ll add some nuts.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Crossfit + Peanut Butter + SPAIN

Happy National Peanut Butter Day! Peanut Butter is definitely high on my list of favorite things, so when my mom text messaged me saying it was National Peanut Butter Day, I knew that something that I ate today had to be topped with a bit (or a lot) of peanut butter. I ended up enjoying it two times today, once at lunch with my banana (best combination ever in case you were wondering), and once at dinner with a honeycrisp apple. I spent over $6 today at H-E-B for three honeycrisp apples, but, and my dad would agree, they are so worth it. They are by far the best types of apples!

Are you drooling yet? (Source)

Last night in an effort to promote team bonding, or just to have some fun, we all headed over to Anderson Mill Road to participate in a Crossfit workout. One of our team leaders is a Crossfit Instructor, so he decided to lead us in a TOUGH Crossfit workout that consisted of a 400 meter run, 40 squats, 30 chest-to-the-ground pushups, 20 burpees (the worst - we used to do those as punishment in volleyball), and 10 (modified) pull-ups. You might be like me and take one look and think, "is that it?" Yes, that's it, but it was quickly proved to me that that sequence is quite enough. What's the catch? It's all timed, so you are trying to complete the workout as quickly as you possibly can. I was doing well until the last 5 push-ups and then I lost some steam, so when I went to do my first burpee, my arms literally gave out from under me and I basically collapsed. The pullups, although modified, were pretty challenging as well, but I managed to finish the workout in 6:10. As hard as it was, I really enjoyed myself. I always love a new and challenging workout!

This morning I was feeling a little under the weather so I decided to forgo my morning workout in favor of a little bit more sleep and some reading. Once I finally found my motivation this afternoon, I headed down to the SRD fitness center and ran 2.5 miles before completing this KILLER arm workout inspired by PBFingers, but modified it a little bit. Three straight minutes of bicep curls? I definitely need to build up my arm strength!

Now for the most exciting news of the day..

I WAS OFFICIALLY ACCEPTED TO STUDY ABROAD IN BARCELONA THIS SUMMER! I am so excited about this opportunity to spend six weeks in a different country, really getting immersed in the culture, traveling over Europe, oh and maybe doing a little bit of studying too! :)

Beautiful Barcelona! (Source)
It has been a wonderful, yet rainy, day thus far, and now I am off to work the desk and get some more reading done!

Doesn't this squirrel cookie just brighten your day?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Funday

Happy Sunday! Sunday is always kind of a bittersweet day for me because it is still the weekend, but I have the inevitable gray cloud of school work that I didn't bother touching the rest of the weekend hanging over my head. Luckily, I haven't really had too much to do in the way of school work this weekend, but I know that this is simply the calm before the storm. My plan is to do as much reading as I possibly can so I am not so overwhelmed in a few weeks when everything starts picking up speed.

Today started off with my usual yogurt breakfast and then church at Austin Stone. Today was the start of a new series: Counterfeit Love - The Idolatry of Sex, Money, Power, and Self. It was really great to hear, especially for someone who does place a lot of emphasis on school and body image (even though I shouldn't and am really working on that!), as well as on material things since my birthday is right around the corner and Christmas just happened. I am excited to see what the rest of the series holds!

I got back to SRD around 10:45 and realized I absolutely HAD to do laundry. I think I had one pair of socks left. Well, of course I spent the last bit of cash I had to mail a package home to my family, so I walked over to Chase bank to take some money out of my account so I could do my TWO loads of laundry. Yes, I had two entire loads of laundry and because I had so much stuffed in the dryer, my clothes did not completely dry all the way. 

Laundry Overload
I quickly texted my mom asking her if I lived at home after graduation for a few years with a teaching job in Houston, would she do my laundry for me? Her response: "Absolutely!" I think she really wants me to move home after graduation! :) We'll see what happens!

After putting my laundry in, I headed down to lunch where I enjoyed a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, pickles and alfalfa sprouts. It was delicious, but it obviously didn't fill me up very well as I returned to my room and ate grapes, nuts, a banana, and two smallish bowls of Multi Grain Peanut Butter Cheerios, which are delicious by the way. Needless to say, I headed out for a workout after that feast!

I biked over to the rec to take advantage of the last couple free days of "try before you buy." At UT, our gym offers something called the "TeXercise," which is purchasing a $70 pass that allows you to take any of the classes held at Gregory Gym or Rec Sports Center. I had it my freshman year, but after my favorite bootcamp class was canceled, I haven't bought the pass since. This semester they are offering this program called the Nike Training Club, which just sounds intense so I decided to give it a try and see if I liked it enough to purchase the pass and work out every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6:30 a.m. This class featured some cardio and a lot of weight training, which is definitely something I need and a class is something that forces me to do it without giving up. It was a great workout and I am definitely considering purchasing the pass.

My Sunday will wrap up with working the front desk, a little more reading, dinner, and a bike workout to read some more, this time for pleasure!

The First Week

Whew! I have only had three actual days of class so far and I am already feeling the difficulty of this semester. All of my classes, while they all seem very interesting (except for maybe Astronomy), they are all VERY reading intensive. I feel like I don't have many assignments at all except a few papers, a couple exams, and to READ! This is the first semester that has ever really been the case so we will quickly see how that goes! I am really trying to stay on top of everything but that is definitely easier said than done!

Onto more exciting aspects of the week: workouts, food, and YoungLife.

My workouts this week have consisted mainly of running, but I threw a TOUGH arm workout into the mix, as well as a little bit of swimming. I am going to really focus on running until the Austin Half-Marathon, and then I will still continue to run, but maybe not so often and not such long distances. I won't feel the pressure quite as much even though I am signed up for a few fun 10K races! My arm workout looked like this:

Bicep Curls
45 seconds

7 lbs
Frontal Raises
30 seconds

7 lbs
Lateral Raises
30 seconds

7 lbs
Tricep Dips

Arm raises

7 lbs
Tricep Dips


It immediately left my arms sore and hard to lift! It was hard to pull my hair into a ponytail after that workout!

While my workouts have been pretty top notch this week, my healthy eating pact has suffered some. I have found myself snacking more and more often than I usually do and I am not quite sure why! Triscuits and Kettle Corn are obviously my latest weakness in terms of snackies!

My kettle corn of choice!
Young Life

Yesterday around 4:00 in the afternoon I headed over to the first campaigners, or bible study, of the semester for the seventh grade girls of Northwest Hills. I think I have mentioned before that I am a YoungLife leader in Northwest Austin, primarily at Murchison Middle School, but students from private schools in the area come as well. I was so excited to see the girls, they are so loving and they have SO much energy! It is definitely contagious! My co-leaders and I were so surprised when the parent of the house where we hold campaigners presented us with thank-you letters from the girls for leading them and hanging out with them last semester.

It was so special to me, it must be the teacher in me coming out! I love letters and signs and I will keep these forever! They are the ones that teach me so much about love and living simply - they are such a blessing!

After campaigners was over, we drove over to one of our team leaders houses so we could meet up before heading to dinner and finally Camp TBarM for our all-area leader retreat. In typical YoungLife fashion, our team arrived about an hour or so late (that may or may not have been my, Julia, and Ellie's fault). We played a little basketball before meeting up in the dining hall and worshipping our awesome God together! When given the choice to stay up and play around or go to sleep, the girls on my team chose to go to sleep. We are grandma's. I woke up about an hour before breakfast and had a quiet time in front of the beautiful lake before giving in to the cold and curling back up with my blanket! After breakfast we had an all-area meeting talking about our visions for the semester before splitting off to meet with our teams. It was a short retreat, but really great to get out of Austin for the night and be under the beautiful stars, spending time with my awesome YoungLife team.

Some of my team at the WyldLife kickball tournament in November
Upon my return this afternoon, I was STARVING and quickly downed three bowls of cereal, grapes, and a mass-ton of kettle corn before going on a six-to-seven mile run around campus. It felt great to go on a longish run, as I definitely need to continue training for the half that is coming up in about a month!

I was looking forward to a delicious, healthy (since my healthy pact has sort of fallen off the wayside) dinner of My Fit Foods, and headed over there around 7:00 p.m. I surveyed my options before picking out the Salmon with broccoli and quinoa and heading up to the register to pay when I realized I had forgotten my wallet. Sadly, this happens to me more often than I would like to admit. Luckily, I live pretty close and quickly drove home to get my wallet so I could hurry back and pay for my dinner! It was definitely worth the trouble though; it was delicious!

Sorry for this novel of a post, I have had a lot to report in the past few days and not enough time to write!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

First Day(s) of Classes

Well, the first two days of class are complete. It is always kind of nice because (most) of the time professors let the class out a little bit early after introducing themselves and going over the syllabus. Or there is always the professor who insists on watching a 45-minute video about the Sun and not letting us go even one minute early, but hey, who's complaining?

Various Syllabi and Course Packets
I will begin with my classes yesterday and then move into today's schedule.
Let's start with my first English class of the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays: American Literature 1865 - Present.

My professor is a young woman in her second semester of teaching here at UT. We began the class by analyzing a poem by Hermann Mellville, The Portent, which was very strange, but served to teach us that we are going to be embedded in the literature that we read and analyze this semester. I am also very excited because of the weekly reading journal assignment that we have in this class. Every Thursday beginning next week, a one-page response to any of the readings that we have done is due. I grew really excited when she told us that this was more 'creative writing.' while the short papers will be more of analysis. For a blog writer, creative writing is ideal so I am excited to see what this class holds!

The handsome Hermann Mellville (Source)
Next up on the schedule was Astronomy. I took Intro to Astronomy last semester, and this class, The Lives and Deaths of Stars, will be more of an in-depth look at stars. The professor is an older women who really seems to have a passion for the subject of astronomy, which is always promising and makes for a good class. Despite that video about the Sun, it should be a good one. This class is at the same time and in the same place as my Intro to Astronomy class last semester, so hopefully my grade in this class follows the same pattern. Here's to my last semester of science, ever!

The view of the Tower from the top of the RLM building at a star party
Last on the agenda today in terms of classes was my second English class: British Novel in the 20th Century. The professor for this class was seriously awesome, and the class sounds absolutely wonderful, however, I was notified this morning, at 1:20 a.m., that I finally made my way off the waitlist into the other English class I was hoping to take: Representations of Childhood and Adolescense in Literature and Film. I haven't actually been to this class yet, as it took place at the same time as my British Novel class, but The Hunger Games is on our reading list. Need I say more? I am so excited about this class, I am hoping it turns out to be one of my favorites!

Life of an English major!
My first (and only) class on the agenda today was cultural anthropology. Seeing as I wasn't sure which English I was for sure going to be enrolled in and I don't yet have my astronomy book, I decided to get ahead on some reading for anthropology and although the chapter was long, it was an enjoyable chapter to read and I really think this is going to be a very thought-provoking and eye-opening class. It examines and compares different cultures and my professor said 'groovy' every other word, so this class really seems promising.

I am also taking an online history class, but have not yet had access to it so I am just going to try and knock the reading that I have for my other classes out of the way so as not to fall behind. I find that if I fall behind at the beginning, there is no catching up, at least for me anyway, in college. 

I am sad to say that since the semester has officially begun, my blog posts definitely will not be as frequent but I am not going to neglect it. Instead of wasting time on Facebook and Pinterest while I am taking a school work break, I will write a blog post. This is definitely something I want to keep up - it is a wonderful vessel for developing my creative writing skills!

Shoutout to N. Myers - one of my froomies and regular blog readers!