Sunday, July 29, 2012

Survey Sunday

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope your evening is going as wonderful as mine - snuggled up watching prime time coverage of the Olympics (and also attempting to study for Economics). These swimmers are incredible! I am just getting pumped for my first real look at the women's gymnastics team - despite already knowing what is going to happen! Anyway, I thought I would try to start a new tradition here on fitnessandfroyo, and that is Survey Sundays! I l-o-v-e taking surveys - it is such a fun way to share fun and interesting facts with others! Let's hope I can find enough surveys to keep this up - it may end up turning into a bi-weekly or monthly thing! We shall see!

1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotels?
No, I feel as though they usually have a strange scent to them.
3. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
Tucked out. I feel too constricted when my sheets are tucked in!
4. Would you rather be attacked by a bear or a swarm of bees?
I am terribly afraid of bees and anything with a stinger, and I could probably outsmart (or hide from) a bear!
5. Do you have freckles?
Here and there, but for the most part, nope.
6. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Being late really stresses me out!
7. Have you ever peed in the woods?
Wilderness 2009, baby!

8. Do you ever dance if there’s no music playing?
Oh, of course! I have been known to get my groove on!
9. Do you chew your pens and pencils?
Guilty. Just pens, though.
10. Is it okay for guys to wear pink?
YES. I love it when guys wear pink!
11. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
Ketchup or barbecue sauce. I also used to dip Chick-Fil-A nuggets in ranch dressing.
12. What is your favorite food?
Frozen yogurt, for sure.

13. What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
Remember the Titans, She's the Man, The Parent Trap, Miss Congeniality, A Walk to Remember
14. Were you ever a boy/girl scout?
I was a Girl Scout throughout my elementary school years.
15. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?
Um, no.
16. Can you change the oil on a car?
In all honestly, probably not. Thank goodness for AAA!
17. Ever gotten a speeding ticket?
Luckily, I was let off with just a warning! ;)
18. Ever ran out of gas?
19. Are you lazy?
While I joke around and say that I am lazy (and I certainly have my lazy moments), rarely can I sit around doing absolutely nothing.
20. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?
There was the famous clown costume, I was a go-go girl, and there was the ever-so-original soccer player. I had some winning costumes throughout the years!

21. How many languages can you speak?
Just English, although I will say that after almost two months in Spain, my Spanish is much better than it used to be! I can at least communicate with someone in Spanish. 
22. Who is better…Leno or Letterman?
No opinion.
23. Do you sing in the car?
I totally rock out in my car, sometimes wondering if the people in the cars next to me think I'm crazy!
24. Ever eat a pierogi?
25. First concert?
Aside from the Houston Rodeo, Scream Tour - ask me about it sometime, it was quite the experience!

And now you know, if you want to know the way to my heart, bring me some frozen yogurt. But I guess you already knew that! Enjoy your evening!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Houston, We Have a Winner

What did y'all think of the Opening Ceremonies last night? I actually didn't get to catch a lot of it live due to having to work the desk, but I watched videos and, of course, stayed updated via Twitter. I did get off work just in time to watch the USA athletes walk the arena and y'all, it brought tears to my eyes. The joy on these athletes faces was just the best thing - they are just as excited to be there as we are to watch it. Overall, I thought some aspects of the ceremony were rather strange, but done very, very well. I loved J.K. Rowling's reading and I have to say that the Queen's entrance was pretty darn cool!
J.K. Rowling reading Peter Pan (Source)
I can't wait to watch the big Lochte / Phelps showdown this afternoon - swimming is one of my very favorite events to watch. Swimming, diving, gymnastics, beach volleyball, and track and field have got to be my favorites (I have alerts on my phone!), but I will watch just about anything. Case in point: I am currently watching cycling as I type this post.

Now to the title of this post. Yesterday, Forbes released their list of coolest cities in America. What city topped that list? New York City? Los Angeles? Austin? While they all made the list, none of them topped it. Houston, my hometown, was named the coolest city in America. Houston, home of NASA, 
NASA (Source)
the eighth wonder of the world,
Astrodome (Source)
the first word spoken from the moon, excellent shopping, and some hot and humid weather, may not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of cool cities, but it is very up-and-coming. At least according to this list, it is! This list took into account recreational opportunities, diversity, employment, pro and college sports teams, and the number of people who relocated there in 2011, among other things. Surprisingly, Houston actually experienced job growth last year, as well as many new stylish housing developments, restaurants, and museums. There is getting to be more and more to do, and I am very proud to call this place home.
My pretty friends at an Astros game in 2010
Supporting our home town 'Stros
I have never had anything against Houston, sure, it doesn't have a Town Lake or a South Congress, but it does have Memorial Park and the Heights. There are some darn good restaurants, and I constantly find myself missing peaceful bike rides on the bayou. Unfortunately, I didn't discover some of Houston's hidden gems until right before I left for college, and now I love returning to Houston to explore these new discoveries, as well as visit some of my favorites. My appreciation for Houston definitely increased as I moved away, as is the case for almost everyone, and I can honestly say that if I end up living in Houston after I graduate, you won't hear any complaints from me. There is no greater feeling than driving down I-10 east on a sunny day, blaring my country music, knowing the next exit I take will take me home.
Ruggles Green - one of my favorite restaurants, in CityCentre, one of the cities newest attractions

Amira, Lindsay, and I enjoying a beautiful night at CityCentre
Hungry's - my all-time favorite restaurant ever! 
Houston is just one hour away from the beaches of Galveston
Gayle and I at the Houston Rodeo - an annual tradition! 
Gayle and I on our favorite ride at the rodeo
There's nothin' better than the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo!
Question of the morning:

What do you think makes a city "cool?" Was your city on the list?
I have to agree with Forbes - there's something about that Houston skyline (Source)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Today's the Day

Happy Opening Ceremonies, everyone! Every time I see / write / think that, I can't help but think of The Hunger Games - may the odds be ever in your favor! All I know is that I can't wait to see outfits tonight. I am scheduled to work the desk right when the ceremony is set to be shown to us Americans, but no worries, I won't miss a minute because I have my computer all set up to stream every second of the Olympics, no matter where I am. I also downloaded the NBC Olympics app on my iPhone, so I really have no excuse for missing even a minute. Add that to the fact that I teared up this morning as NBC played highlights from the '08 Olympics and you could say that I am a little excited. I just love that the entire world is able to put aside all of our differences and come together for this spectacular event. That being said, I have my red, white, and blue on, that's for sure! U-S-A!
You better believe I was sporting this shirt today!
After that note, I must apologize for my absence this week. In my mind, I was going to have posted at least one blog post in between my last post and now, but I got swamped with school and work, and blogging always seems to be first to go. Gotta work on that! But I may have another excuse for my lack of blogging this week and it has to do with Tina's Best Body Boot Camp. I mentioned on Monday that I was participating in round two of her bootcamp and y'all, it has kicked my booty. I have been sore since day one - I honestly can't remember the last time I was this sore! Between an extremely tough leg workout, consisting of these lovely one-leg sit-and-stands, some serious core work, and several interval workouts that have left me sweaty, I have gotten my butt kicked. Literally!
One leg sit-and-stands (Source)
This past weekend I received a request for more Kelli Tomlinson Original Workouts and I have one for you today! Today's cardio portion of bootcamp called for an interval workout, and I decided to take my workout to the treadmill. Interval workouts are great for someone like me who gets bored pretty quickly while I am on cardio machines, shocked to find that what has felt like ten minutes has only been two. This interval workout is especially good for beating boredom because only every other interval is the same - I am beating the system! ;)

After my first class of the day, I met up with an elementary school friend for lunch at one of Austin's most famous restaurants: Kerbey Lane. Cheyney and I have been buds since Pre-K, and in middle school she moved to Connecticut with her family before returning to the great state of Texas to complete her degree. It had been forever since I had seen her, so I enjoyed a delicious meal of Tacos al Pastor - pork, pineapple, onions, cilantro, and black beans all wrapped up in a corn tortilla - while we compared our respective Europe trips and just caught up on one another's lives! It was so great to see her and I enjoyed a delicious lunch to boot!
Cheyney and Kelli, cerca 1997

Tacos al Pastor
I am off to work the desk, get a little homework done, and watch the highly-anticipated Opening Ceremonies! Enjoy your Friday evening!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bootcamp: Day One

Happy Monday, everyone! I know most people don't like Mondays, but this one has been pretty good to me. I was excited for Monday morning to come for one reason: the start of Tina's Best Body Bootcamp!

I signed up for this bootcamp on a whim a couple of weeks ago, forgetting about it until I received Tina's email last Thursday containing the Phase One workouts. I had read about the first round of this bootcamp on some various blogs and when I saw that she was holding another round of it, I was pumped, so I immediately signed up for it. It is an eight-week "virtual" bootcamp in that every two weeks the workouts are emailed to us and we can all modify it how we want and of course, do it on our own time, but there is a Facebook support group and everything so that we can motivate and inspire one another. It's really great and the workout today was a 20-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout of your choice followed by a great (and super challenging) upper-body workout. It had me doing a lot of exercises "until fatigue," which definitely inspired me to push myself through each exercise. I don't want to post the exact workout and take away from Tina and the other participants, but I will post different moves that I find new and/or challenging.

Pullover -- Dumbbell on Stability Ball (Source) These were tough!
I am so excited about this bootcamp program because I am always looking for something new that will challenge me and I definitely think this bootcamp will challenge me. I often get into a routine and I will slack off on the strength training, something on which this program places quite a bit of emphasis, which is why it is so perfect for me Plus, this bootcamp will end just about when I should think about seriously training for the Houston half-marathon! Perfect timing!

Anyway, I completed a 20-minute HIIT workout that looked like this (thank you truetonefitness):

At first I wasn't sure if it would be challenging enough, but running at a speed of 9.0 for 90 seconds is tough! I hope to increase the speeds as the weeks go on and I (hopefully) get faster and faster. After the upper body workout, I cooled down with 20-minutes on the elliptical as I continue to read Heroes and Monsters, which is seriously so good. If you are looking for a new book to read, I highly recommend this one!

This program does not come with a "menu," which I am thankful for because I don't think it is possible to create a menu that works for some 400+ people, as people have different caloric needs, but it does encourage you to set two weekly goals. They can be the same each week, they can be different, they can be related to diet, exercise, or personal wellbeing; they can be anything you want! What are my two goals this first week, you ask?
  1. Drink at least 64 oz of water a day (I know, I should be doing this anyway, right?)
  2. Eat at least one serving of fruits and/or veggies at both lunch and dinner (and if I can squeeze fruits or veggies into breakfast too, even better!)
I know I don't drink nearly enough water to keep me adequately hydrated, especially in this Texas heat, but with this goal in mind, I have kept water on hand all day. Luckily, my trusty Camelbak makes it pretty darn easy!
Gotta love selfies!
I managed to accomplish both of my first-week goals today (good start, right?) with three Camelbaks of water, my childish lunch,
Nothing beats a PB and banana sandwich! I definitely missed this while I was in Spain!
and my delicious dinner!
White bean salad 
Italian veggies
Let's hope this routine continues for the rest of the week! I can't wait to see what the rest of this bootcamp brings! I am loving the workouts, the challenge, and the support from all over the world! How fun!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you have enjoyed as wonderful of a weekend as I have! Though working on a Friday night is not my exact definition of a good time, it allowed me to relax, get some homework done, and of course, write a blog post! I'm trying to get back on my blog-postin' grind!

Anyway, early Saturday morning, I headed down the road to that little town called College Station to watch my brother and his friends compete in the 7-on-7 State Football Tournament. They had won all three games on Friday (a first for Stratford, even the year we won the State Championship), so I was pumped to get to see them play what I thought would be a pretty full day. Unfortunately, they lost their first game to Cinco Ranch (the same school that kept me out of the state tournament in volleyball my senior year.. and yes, I'm still bitter!), and it was a heartbreaking loss. They had a not-so-stellar first half in that they were down 13-0 for most of it before coming back and taking the lead. After half-time, Cinco came out and scored a couple of key touchdowns, and we were just unable to recover from it before time ran out. They lost 27-32, and I was bummed that I wasn't going to get to spend more time with my family, but I also made the trip to College Station (with a broken back-seat window) to see and spend time with Gayle, whom I hadn't seen since before I left for Spain!

Daniel making a great catch (Photo cred: Harper Rae Jones) 
The boys after qualifying for the state tournament! (Photo cred: Harper Rae Jones)
Daniel making a diving catch! (Photo cred: Harper Rae Jones)
She is also taking summer school, so I was pretty bummed when I thought I wouldn't be able to see her until we both got home in August. When I learned that my brother's team had qualified for the state tournament in College Station, I jumped on the opportunity to see both my family and my best friend in one trip. I went over to her apartment shortly after the end of the game and we just sat and talked and talked and talked before realizing that both of our stomachs were grumbling and we were hungry. She told me about a new burger place, and I am not one to turn down a perfectly good burger, so we decided to check it out.

It was a place called Grub (good people, real food, unique vibe, big flavors) Burger Bar, and it was such a cute, trendy little place. I opted for the "Hippie Chic" - sans cheese, and it was delicious. I recently discovered my love for mushroom, so the mushroom burger really hit the spot. I am not quite sure that it was as good as hopdoddy, but I'll have to revisit that Austin hotspot very soon, just to make sure! ;)

It was then time for me to head back to Austin, she had some studying to do and I had to do something about that back window of mine! It never gets easier to say goodbye, that's for sure!

After a rather uneventful drive back to Austin, I unfortunately arrived too late for my window to be fixed today, but that allowed me to be at SRD for the return of my trouble twin, aka Hanna! She and I were RA's together last year and we quickly formed a friendship over our love of baseball (and the players), and although she is a Mets fan, I decided to overlook that little flaw! We sat and caught up on our lives before heading down to the office to reunite with one of our other friends and fellow RA's who happened to be visiting her sister for the weekend: Lexi! We decided to hit up one of our Austin favorites - Whole Foods - to enjoy a delicious meal on a beautiful night. We ended up sitting on the roof just talking and laughing for a while, which was just so needed. I have missed having my good friends here in Austin with me! It was a wonderful (and much-needed) Saturday, full of family, friends, and fun - all of my favorites!

4/9 RA's were reunited in Austin this weekend!
Caught red-handed as we were pulling back in: Tara double fisting the fro-yo
After that long but joy-filled day, I got myself a good nights sleep before waking up a little before 7 to hit the gym before I sat and worked the front desk for six hours. After struggling through a few morning runs, I decided that I needed to prove to myself that I could indeed still run more than two miles, so I set out on the treadmill thinking I would run four miles before calling it a day. I am starting an eight-week bootcamp plan tomorrow (more on that tomorrow!), and I didn't want to wear myself out before bootcamp even started! I ended up running 5.3 miles in about 45-minutes, which is a little bit slower than my usual pace, but after seven weeks in Europe, I am trying to build back up my speed and endurance. Fear not, it will get there! I did 200 crunches on the exercise ball before calling it a day and heading down to enjoy a delicious yogurt breakfast before showering and working the desk (and finally starting that homework) from 10am to 4pm. I gave a tour to a very excited rising senior, ordered myself some My Fit Foods -- tilapia on a bed of vegetables -- and read two chapters of Economics and two acts of Hamlet. I'd call it a very productive Sunday!
My Fit Foods
After such a wonderful weekend, I feel ready to tackle this week -- no tests, and the Olympics Opening Ceremonies are on Friday. I'd say it's going to be a great one! Enjoy the last little bit of your weekend!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mum's the Word

As you all probably already know, I am taking a Shakespeare class here at UT this second summer session. I will admit that I was not very excited about the class, as though I have read Shakespeare in the past and it hasn't been awful, I have always thought the language was hard to understand, some of the story lines were a bit silly, and that Shakespeare is far too highly regarded as a writer. Though I have only been in this class for two weeks, I have a new appreciation for the highly regarded poet and playwright. Through his writing, he often makes fun of readers for trying to extract too much meaning from his plays, but his plays take on so many different meanings depending on how you read it. His characters are relatable once you dive into his work and though I still think his language is hard to understand, that's what No Fear Shakespeare is for!

Anyway, there are many commonly used phrases that can be attributed to Shakespeare. Granted, we don't know if he was the one who actually came up with them, but his works contain the earliest written records of them! Here is a list of some of the phrases I find myself using often, and I am sure that you use them too!
  • "the course of true love never did run smooth" (A Midsummer Night's Dream)
  • "all that glitters is not gold" (Merchant of Venice)
  • "all's well that ends well"
  • "as [good] luck would have it" (Merry Wives of Windsor)
  • "vanish into thin air" (Othello)
  • "be-all / end-all" (Macbeth)
  • "best foot forward" (King John)
  • "dead as a doornail" (Henry VI)
  • "forever and a day" (As You Like It)
  • "it's [all] Greek to me!" (Julius Caesar)
  • "heart of gold" (Henry V)
  • "kill with kindness" (Taming of the Shrew)
  • "lie low" (Much Ado About Nothing)
  • "melted into thin air" (The Tempest)
  • "naked truth" (Love Labours Lost)
  • "not slept one wink" (Cymbeline)
  • "seen better days"  (As You Like It)
  • "own flesh and blood" (Hamlet)
  • "a sorry sight" (Macbeth)
  • "wear my heart on my sleeve" (Othello)
  • "wild-goose chase" (Romeo and Juliet)
  • "a laughing stock" (Merry Wives of Windor)
  • "mum's the word" (Henry IV, Part 2)
  • "in a pickle" (The Tempest)
  • "method in the madness" (Hamlet)
  • "fight fire with fire" (King John)
I can't wait to have a poster (hint, hint, mom and dad) of phrases coined by Shakespeare hanging in my classroom, and when they are complaining about having to read Shakespeare's plays, I can tell them that they probably quote him at least once a day! Pretty cool!
Now that that's out of my system, I can move on to the more exciting aspects of my day: exercise and food! Two of my favorites! I went to sleep last night not knowing how I would feel in the morning in regards to working out. For one, I was getting to bed quite a bit later than I had been, and two, I had that unfortunate rollerblading accident. While I really wasn't hurt, sometimes scrapes have a way of making me feel stiff the next morning. Not the case, so when my alarm went off at 6:54 this morning, I popped out of bed ready to tackle my workout. I didn't want to do anything too hardcore, so I started off with a 15-minute jog and sprint treadmill workout inspired by PBFingers, moved on to 20-minutes on the elliptical (incline: 18, resistance: 10) while reading some more of my current book - Heroes and Monsters (loving it!), and then rounded off my Friday of cardio with an incline creation of my own. My first created workout! Okay, it doesn't really constitute a 'workout,' as it only lasted 15 minutes and it really isn't that creative, but I think this is a sign of things to come! I can't wait to create even more! Anyway, my workout looked like this, and I think it is the perfect warm-up or cool-down to any workout -- a lot of incline with a little bit of running! It really gets your heart rate up quickly!

After class today, I once again decided to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine and headed over to Gregory to swim a few laps and more importantly, get some color back into my skin. One of my favorite things to do is lay out by the pool with a good book, and I did just that this afternoon before heading back to SRD to work the desk. It was glorious, and I am slowly but surely getting a little bit tanner! I miss the summer days where I had swim team practice in the morning and in the afternoon, biked up to the neighborhood pool and played there for hours with my friends -- I had some good tans back in the day!

Back in the day
Since I work the desk right through dinner time, I decided to order one of my Austin favorites to be delivered: Pita Pit. I love Pita Pit and I so wish we had it in Houston! I had a pita with chicken breast, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, pickles, mushrooms, and sprouts. It was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s and I already can't wait for my next pita! I hope you all are having a more eventful Friday night than I am! Hey, at least it gives me time to blog, right?!

On a more serious note, I was deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy in Aurora that took place at a midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this event and I pray that everyone involved can find comfort during this difficult time.