Friday, March 30, 2012

Motivation Pact

It's FRIDAY! Fridays are great for many reasons, but the main one is that I have THREE whole days off from class. I really do like school, but sometimes just going to class exhausts me. Pathetic, right? And even though this weekend will include writing multiple essays, it's still going to be a beautiful weekend!

Workout + Lunch

This morning I woke up and was hungry. So I headed down to breakfast and ate my usual yogurt breakfast, but when I turned to scoop my granola, I noticed that my beloved granola was not there and had been replaced with new granola. It was still good, but not quite up to par with the old granola, so I am really hoping they bring back the old kind soon!

After cranking out a few ideas for one of my English essays that is due on Tuesday, i decided to head down to the fitness center to complete a 45-minute walking and running treadmill workout inspired by PBFingers, followed by a quick total-body weights and cardio workout and a little bit of ab work. It felt really good to get in a great workout because it has definitely been a while! After my workout I showered, made a quick trip to Target for a few groceries, contemplated buying these shoes,

Practical, right?

and came back to enjoy a delicious lunch, courtesy of SRD. I had baked catfish fillet, green beans, and fresh strawberries. Fish is one of my favorite dishes, which is pretty surprising because I am one of the pickiest eaters around town. However, I love fish and it is one of the things that I am most looking forward to as I travel to Spain this summer.

I also snagged a few rice krispie treats to eat later. My favorite!
Motivation Pact

Now for the title of this post. Last night, three of my fellow RA's and I were complaining about school and how we are having trouble finding the motivation to complete our school work, study, and even go to class at times. We thought up a motivation pact and decided that if we can get all the items checked off our to-do list by Sunday, we will treat ourselves to fro-yo. If there is something one of us hasn't finished, no fro-yo. Harsh, but that's what we have to do to get out of the dreaded sophomore slump. Let's hope it works!

I made them add the one about smiling! :)
Want a little something to make you smile as you head into the weekend? I am sitting in the front office of SRD, wearing the bunny ears that our awesome registrar gave all of the RAs to get in the Easter spirit as I type this post. I just may keep them on all afternoon!

Thanks, Jessica!
Hanna and I
Love her!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekend Roundup

It has been a while since I have posted, but I have my reasons. I have been extremely busy these past few days, and the days made for one awesome weekend. I have had a hard time buckling down and studying for astronomy (hence why I am procrastinating by writing this post), but I am slowly getting back into it. It will be a late couple of nights but hey, that's college, right?

Friday was Young Life Placement Night and it was just so wonderful. After shaking the ground of Grace Covenant Church with our worship songs and watching each area strut their stuff on stage with hysterical skits, my team was blessed with three new team members, making the grand total 17. Would you believe three years ago they were only THREE leaders? God is so good! Anyway, after placement night was officially over, we went to our middle school to have a water balloon fight (girls dominated, duh), and prayed over the school, ending with a game of "Over the Mountain." I definitely got to know my teammates a little better after that one! We then rushed over to our area dance party (late, as usual), and rounded off the night with an Austin original: Kerbey Lane Cafe. It was a wonderful night and I can't wait to see what the rest of this semester brings. The Austin Young Life community is seriously amazing and I am blown away by the fact that I get to be a part of it, pouring truth into kids. 
Hipster Zombies. You can't beat The Hills Wyldlife.
Some of our precious seventh grade girls! They are the absolute coolest!
Saturday was another wonderful day, as my friend Sarah and I spent the majority of the day shopping at various malls and eating some of our delicious Austin favorites. The weather was absolutely beautiful and I would say that it was a very successful day! I tried to only buy clothes that would be appropriate to wear in Spain, but honestly, I have no clue what to pack to take to Spain. All my belongings in one suitcase? HELP! I attended a pre-departure meeting tonight and got issues such as what to do about cell phones and health and safety information cleared up, but there was no information on how to pack for six weeks in a foreign country. I'd say that's pretty darn important, especially for a notorious overpacker such as myself!

We enjoyed the beautiful weather on the roof of Whole Foods!
Sunday was another beautiful day in Austin, as it started off with the Statesman Capitol 10K, the largest 10K in the country. There were over 23,000 runners on Sunday morning and I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous, as I hadn't run that distance since I hurt my back over a month and a half ago. My goal was honestly just to finish under an hour without having to stop and walk, and I am happy to say that I beat my goal! The first three miles FLEW by, while the last three definitely seemed a little bit slower. In my defense, the sun was shining full force by that time and I was sweating like crazy! Overall though, it felt GOOD to be running like that again, and it got me itching to sign up for another big race. We'll see what happens!

The breakfast that powered me through the race
Another check off the Austin bucket list!
Like I mentioned before, the weather in Austin has been absolutely beautiful. The temperatures are climbing but I am loving it. I much prefer the warm weather to the "cold" weather that we experience here in Texas. It has been the perfect tanning weather, of which I have definitely been taking advantage. It was cloudy all of spring break, so I have felt the need to catch up catching the rays. The weather was so nice that it prompted me to skip my Monday class to sit out by Gregory Gym after my swim to tan (and study). Here's my theory, my parents are paying for the use of the facility, so I might as well take advantage of it, right? Right.

Now I am off to work the desk and get some serious studying done. Astronomy is killing me this semester, which is just frustrating because it has nothing to do with my major, but it's going to be okay. Positive attitudes! At least I had a good dinner to fuel me through the night!

Enjoy this beautiful spring evening!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Team Gale

I have one piece of advice for you: LOCATE TICKETS FOR THE HUNGER GAMES MOVIE AND GO SEE IT. It was so good and I seriously could have watched it again right after it finished. The director did a really great job of staying true to the book, for the most part anyway, and despite having to sit in the front row of the theater, the movie was excellent and I highly recommend it to y'all. I will say that it was pretty violent at times, but I guess that was to be expected after the way the events in the arena played out in the book. Also, can I please just say that I am so still Team Gale. I was a little unsure about that decision since Peeta is the cute, loyal bakers son, but come on, Gale is seriously attractive. Nothing against Peeta or anything but.. come on, Gale all the way.

The big debate: Team Gale or Team Peeta?

Obviously after getting into bed at 3am, waking up early to workout was not at the top of my to-do list. I woke up around 8:30, ate some breakfast, and decided to start on some of the reading that I have to do this weekend. When it is going to get done I am not quite sure, but hey, at least it will be a fun weekend!

Anyway, I decided that since it was such a beautiful day, a run would feel wonderful. It ended up being a little bit toasty, but it still felt great and it is seriously a perfect day outside. I understand why no one ever wants to leave Austin. I then headed down to the SRD workout room to complete this quick workout. 

Pasted Graphic.pdf

I really liked it because it was quick, but still got me sweating! After a shower and a quick trip to Buffalo Exchange, I was ready for some lunch. Lunch today is one of my favorite meals ever, so I made sure to pile on the food. I had fish tacos topped with pico de gallo, cabbage, and black beans, and an extra side of black beans because they are so delicious. Hopefully that meal holds me over since tonight is going to be another late night, but it is so worth it - Young Life Placement Night 2012! Here we go! Enjoy this beautiful spring day!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fabulous Weekend

Happy Thursday! The first week back from a break is always pretty tough, but luckily for me, it has been relatively stress-free. Minus my astronomy class but that's all that will be said about that! I have had quite a bit to look forward to which somewhat decreases my productivity level - I think a lot of my friends can agree that we have all hit the dreaded "sophomore slump." We have been in school for 16 long years, a slump is bound to happen at some point. I just have to keep looking at all the GREAT things I have ahead, and that is enough to motivate me to get to work!


Since I had an astronomy quiz today, I elected to skip my morning workout in favor of some last-minute studying. Again, it really didn't help me too much so maybe I should stop doing that. Although it did give me the opportunity to swim outside on this BEAUTIFUL, picture-perfect Austin day, and lay out (again, in my one-piece) for about 45 minutes and attempt to get some sun. So I guess I can't complain TOO much!

Now for the highlight of my Thursday (and the reason that I have not been able to do ANYTHING productive) is.. drum roll please.. THE HUNGER GAMES MIDNIGHT PREMIERE! In approximately two and a half hours I will leave for the theater that SRD rented out just for the girls living in the dorm. If it hasn't been said enough, I live in the best dorm ever. I will be sporting my Team Gale shirt, but I promise I do like Peeta too. It is such a tough call, but both boys aside, I am so excited to see this movie that I have heard really does live up to the books. My English class has had a couple heated arguments over this literary merit of the book (such English majors), but hey, it's a good book that gets kids reading. What more can we ask for? I can't wait to post my review of the movie!

The rest of this weekend should be a lot of fun, and very busy. Friday night is YoungLife Placement Night, which means 200 new leaders who went through about seven weeks of training will be placed on YoungLife teams across the city of Austin. It is such a blessing to have college students who want to minister to middle-school and high-school kids and I can't wait to meet my new team members. I still have yet to learn the skit we are performing (oops!), but hey, it will all turn out great.
Literally the most awkward picture ever - Placement Night 2011
Saturday is the second annual Super Saturday, meaning my friend Sarah and I boycott all the roundup events going on this weekend and go shopping at various malls around Austin. Sounds like a productive day, right? Well, it may not be productive in terms of important thing, but it really is a lot of fun and I didn't go shopping at all over spring break so I would have money to spend on Saturday. We also make sure to eat at some fabulous restaurants and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will find some cute things for SPAIN!

I hope your weekend shapes up to be as fun as mine is looking to be! And.. may the odds be EVER in your favor!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Hunger Games Week!

Happy Tuesday fitness & froyo followers! I hope you had a restful night's sleep - I almost slept through the night, except for waking up with the extreme thunderstorm that hit Austin at around 1:00 in the morning. Fun fact about me: I used to be deathly afraid of thunderstorms and have only just begun to enjoy the rain. I don't know what to attribute this fear to, but my parents will definitely tell you that I housed an extreme fear of storms back in the day. So I am not too surprised that I woke up when the lightning was legitimately lighting up my room and the thunder was shaking my window. Luckily, I fell back asleep within minutes, dreaming of receiving an email from Bill Powers saying classes were canceled, but sadly, there was no such email. I even wore my rain boots all day in anticipation of the rain that my weather app was predicting, but I just looked pretty dumb walking back to SRD in pure sunshine. Texas weather, what can you do?

I was very tempted to sleep in with the rain and skip my morning workout, but I knew that if I didn't do it in the morning, it wouldn't happen at all today with a full day of classes, work, and meetings. I completed a treadmill sprint/walking workout that looked similar to one that I completed over spring break, but I stopped at 30 minutes instead of doing the full 50. My legs were tired this morning! I then did this arm workout (3x15) and my arms were feeling a bit fatigued. I guess neglecting the weights for a few days will do that to you, huh?

Bicep Curls
Chest press on exercise ball
Crossbody Curls

Tricep Dips
Lateral Raises
Tricep Pull Downs
Frontal Raises

Hunger Games
Countdown to the Hunger Games midnight premiere: 53 hours. I cannot wait! SRD rented out an entire theatre at Alamo Drafthouse and about a hundred nineteen- and twenty-year-old girls are going to be there anxiously awaiting to see if this movie lives up to the book. I blew through these books in a span of about five days over Christmas break, and I reread the first one over spring break, so I cannot WAIT! I will be there sporting my Team Gale shirt, courtesy of my friend and fellow RA, Madison. 

Did you groan at the mention of "Team Gale?" These books don't really promote picking a "team," but Katniss is conflicted throughout the entire novel  as to who she prefers: Gale, her long-time hunting buddy, or Peeta, the sweet baker's son who claims to have loved her since they were five years old. I felt just as conflicted as Katniss when it came time to choose the boy because I really do like both of them, but Gale is the one with whom she can be herself, the one to whom she can tell anything. Plus, can anyone really resist Liam Hemsworth?
May the odds be EVER in your favor.. 

Also.. I have to add in a note about the delicious diner that I just devoured. I decided that Chipotle sounded better than the meal SRD was serving, so once my shift was over, I walked down the drag to enjoy this delicious burrito bowl filed with black beans, barbacoa, and veggies. If my wallet allowed it, I think I could eat this every day.

P.S. Happy First Day of Spring! How fitting that the first day of spring in Texas started with a severe thunderstorm and 55-degree weather!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A New Attitude

The Monday following the end of Spring Break is often met with a few groans and a not-so-good attitude, we often find ourselves wishing we had just one more week of relaxation and a break from the "real world." However, that is not the case and we are forced to return to our "regular" lives of school and work. Instead of looking at the month and a half that I have left of school with a negative attitude, I am going to look at it with a positive attitude. I am very blessed to have the opportunity to attend this university, to have parents that are willing to pay for me to attend and to learn and even to be stressed to the max. I am being challenged and forced to work hard in order to find success, which will prove to be so valuable when I am out in the real world! I have no reason to complain about anything in my life, so from this day forward, I am going to focus on not complaining about school and how much stress it causes me, and focus on how much I am learning and all the opportunities that I have.
Who wouldn't love seeing this everyday? Photocred: Hannah Fierce

Since I went to sleep at a very early hour (for college, anyway), I was up and ready to go at 6:30am, so I headed out the door for a 5-mile run. I haven't run that far in probably two weeks so it felt good to stretch my legs out for five miles. It was already hot and humid at 6:45 in the morning, so there is no telling what the rest of this day is going to bring! The forecast is telling me that it is going to storm, but so far it is just overcast and windy. After my run, I did a little bit of ab work before showering and heading down to enjoy my favorite yogurt breakfast. I truly missed it and it tasted so wonderful after ten days of eating cereal for breakfast. Don't get me wrong, I love cereal, but I can never stop at just one bowl, and I found that I often craved cereal at all hours of the day.

Lucky for me, I have only one class today so I am able to slowly ease my way back into "school mode," since I definitely still seem to be in spring break mode. I am hoping I can kick it into high gear after class today since these next few weeks are busy, busy, busy!

On a side note, this morning I registered for the classes that I am going to take in SPAIN this summer! I am taking a Spanish class (duh) and hopefully a class that is all about Barcelona - either that or a class about the culture of food! I am not sure what kind of credit will be awarded for those classes but hey, you only live once, right? Might as well enjoy the ride and learn a little bit of Spanish culture along the way!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It's Already Over?!

Ten glorious days of rest, relaxation, and absolutely no commitments. It was so, so wonderful and I cannot believe that I am already back in Austin, taking a break from unpacking to write this post. I love Austin so much, but Houston was way too good to me this break. And honestly, it's not like I even did anything out of the ordinary. 
  • I did a lot of baking
Triple Chocolate Cake
Candy Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Watched my brother dominate in his baseball game against Magnolia High School
  • Ate at my favorite restaurant with some of my favorite high school friends
  • Went to the rodeo with my best friend for the ninth year in a row, it was our third consecutive year to see Brad Paisley - easily the best rodeo performer there is
There is always some quality food at the Houston Rodeo.. like this curly fry loaf
We're thinking chute seats next year for our 21st! :)
  • Reignited my love for spinning classes
..and did a whole lot of NOTHING! It was wonderful. There were so many things that I meant to do, or that I wanted to do, but when it came down to it, I was happiest sitting on my couch, playing around on my computer, watching Harry Potter, and hanging out with my family. It has been one crazy semester and I definitely needed a lazy break to recharge myself for the rest of the semester. Can you believe in two months I'll be halfway done with college and on my way to Spain?! I can't! Time is moving so fast! So, here's to finishing this semester with a bang, and to not forgetting to have a little bit of fun along the way!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cloudy Day Fun

Happy Monday! I hope if you are reading this that you had the day off from school or work and are looking forward to another day off tomorrow. If not, cheer up, Monday is OVER! My Monday started early and it was fantastic. I am really loving this break - it is much needed. It started with my alarm clock going off at 5:25am so I could hit the gym for a 6am spinning class. I am still wondering as to why I felt the need to take a spinning class at 6 o'clock in the morning, but hey, it got me up and moving! I thought the class was pretty tough, but then again, I haven't taken a spinning class in almost three months so of course I am going to think it's tough! I'll consider it a warm-up for Felipe's classes Wednesday morning! I then went upstairs to do a mini arm workout followed by 15 minutes of incline walking on the treadmill while reading The Hunger Games. I have to read it for one of my English classes - rough life, huh?

After breakfast, a shower, and a nap, I was ready to drive to Galveston with Gayle for some fun in the sun. Or in the clouds, but hey, we still had a great time and managed to get at least some color!
Galveston may not be as beautiful as St. Pete, but it gets the job done!
I was pretty tired when we returned and have basically been sitting in the same spot on the couch while my brother is enjoying front row seats at the rodeo. It's okay, I have some quality entertainment lined up for the night.

The Blockbuster near my house is going out of business and everything must go, so I stopped in to check out the $1.99 movies. Clearly I am channeling my inner middle schooler with these purchases. Hey, Mary Kate and Ashley movies never get old.

Now I am off to analyze fill out my March Madness bracket. Who are you rooting for? Obviously I am rooting for Texas, but Duke basketball has always had my heart. Go BlueDevils!
Tough decisions! Who will be the big upset this year?

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I hope your Saturday has turned out to be a good one! I finally motivated myself to go to the gym and I just finished enjoying one of my favorite dinners of all time - grilled burgers, courtesy of my dad who makes the best burgers around town - with a side of broccoli. It doesn't get much better than that!

Do y'all like the Christmas plate?
My workout today was also good and although I have done this leg workout before, it was particularly tough today. I started out with a 3.6 mile run on the treadmill, followed by 10 minutes on the stair master. That was enough to get me sweating! I then completed a leg workout, complimentary of PBFingers (no surprise there!).

One-legged leg press
15 each leg
15 each leg
15 each leg
Wall Sit
60 sec
Hamstring ball curls
*Exercises in the color means all sets were completed back-to-back


As I was leaving the gym, heading over to Leibman's to get my mom and me some of their delicious Tomato Duet Dip to share, I received a text from her reminding me to pay the MAC bill. Luckily, Leibman's and the MAC are so close to each other that this wasn't a problem but it got me thinking about how if I were in Austin, I most definitely would have walked the distance between those two places as opposed to driving as I am forced to do in Houston. Austin is the epitome of a walkable city, as every which way you turn you see people either walking, running, or biking. I love how easy it is to walk to the convenience store and even to restaurants in Austin, and it makes me realize just how silly I would look walking down Memorial Drive in Houston to go get something to eat. I found a website that can tell you your cities walkability score, and my address in Austin earned a 92 out of 100 - a "Walker's Paradise." What did my address here in Houston receive? A whopping 48 out of 100 - "Car-Dependent." I love how walkable Austin is and I know that I will have a hard time moving somewhere after graduation that is not walker or biker friendly.
Always walkin' - even in cowboy boots!

Rainy Day Activities

As much as I dislike this dreary weather, it gives me a good excuse to lounge around and get a jump start on all the baking that I have planned for this break. This morning was supposed to start out with The Bayou City Classic 10K, but I decided to forgo it because of the rain, and I slept in until about 8:40. Score! I don't remember the last time I slept in that late. Gotta love spring break!

After breakfast and a quick trip to the grocery store, I got started on two recipes that I actually just pinned this morning, but they looked so delicious that I had to give them a shot! What were those two recipes you ask?

Oreo Pudding Cookies and Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies - I originally found both of these recipes on Pinterest, but the link took me to the blog belonging to The Girl Who Ate Everything. She has some quality recipes on this site and I am so glad that I stumbled upon it!

I started out with the Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies as per my brother's request, and I was told that they are delicious! They smell so good, and they were pretty easy to make! A link to the recipe and instructions can be found here, but here are some pictures of the baking process for this delicious cookie.
Chocolatey goodness 

The finished product
Thanks to my dad and brother for always being my taste testers!
Next up were the Oreo pudding cookies, which were also relatively easy to make. The hardest part was breaking up the Hershey's Cookies and Cream bar into tiny, tiny pieces. The recipe and steps can be found here, but again, here are some pictures of the process.

The crushed Hershey's bar
Oreo Pudding Cookies - just call me Betty Crocker! :)
I was a little hesitant to take these cookies out of the oven after only eight minutes, but the recipe cautioned that these cookies are not to be burned, so even though they looked a little undercooked, I took them out anyway. Luckily, once they cooled they were good to go!

There are currently over 80 homemade cookies at my house right now, someone please come help us eat them!

I am about to eat some lunch before hitting the MAC for a workout, and then hopefully get started finish my history essay that's due tomorrow. Enjoy your Saturday, take some time to relax and enjoy the rain! Read a good book, bake a few treats, watch a good movie, just do something that makes you happy!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I am currently snuggled up in the curve of my couch watching TV as I write this blog post. I could not be happier to be at home with my family, despite this awful weather. I am so ready for a relaxing week full of my favorite Houston restaurants, the Houston Rodeo, and (hopefully) some tanning - let's hope this rain and cold improves by the start of the week!

This morning started early, yet I managed to be incredibly unproductive until about 1:30 when I decided to head to the MAC for a workout. I am now back to being unproductive but I can honestly say that I don't feel too bad about it. I do have some school stuff to do this week, but I think I am going to give myself a little bit of down time before I start on any homework. It just never ends!


I was so excited to be able to work out at my home gym today. It feels so familiar and I see so many friendly faces. Plus, I am always able to get a good workout in when I am surrounded by some intense exercisers! Today's workout focused a lot on the arms, so I think they may hate me a bit in the morning. I started out my workout with a 15-minute warm-up on the treadmill (inspired by PBFingers of course!)

It got me sweating and warmed up enough to tackle this arm workout - which was also inspired by PBFingers!

Chest Press
Bicep Curls
Tricep Dips
Upright Row
Lateral Shoulder Raises
Tricep Pull-Downs
Shoulder Press
Frontal Shoulder Raises
Bicep Curls
2 min straight
Tricep Extensions
Push-ups (Girly)

I then headed down to the pool and swam 60 laps. Like I said, my arms are probably going to hate me tomorrow! It felt good to get in a good workout because this past week they were all pretty subpar due to all of the studying and paper-writing that was thrown my way.

Once I got home, I made myself a smoothie complete with strawberries, a banana, almond milk, and a little bit of spinach snuck in to get my veggie fix! It was delicious and really hit the spot after a tough workout!

Now I am going to continue to sit all snuggled up on my couch until dinner. I should probably feel somewhat guilty about my lazy Friday but I am thoroughly enjoying myself! I hope you are enjoying your Friday!