Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pretty Muddy Final Countdown

Good afternoon to my favorite readers! Is anyone else as surprised as I am that it is already Thursday? The fact that I came home to Houston on a Tuesday is what seems to be throwing me off. Today is my last day that won't involve a lot of driving, so I am trying to take full advantage of it. I woke up around 7:45am and whipped up my usual breakfast of scrambled egg whites and sauteed spinach, sitting at the kitchen table with my grandmother who arrived in town yesterday.

I then went on a walk around my neighborhood before coming home and doing some reading and relaxing, and I haven't moved very far from my spot on the couch since then. I do have plans to attend Felipe's 5:00pm Muscle Blast class at the MAC, which will probably kill me, because I haven't done any weight training since last week at this time. Oops!

Anyway, remember when I announced that I was going to be a blog ambassador for the Pretty Muddy race in Dallas? Well, that race day is quickly approaching. In fact, I head to Dallas tomorrow morning - well, I am technically driving to Austin to have lunch with a friend, and then driving to Dallas, but I'll be in Dallas by tomorrow early evening.

Though it's a lot of driving for such a short race, I am starting to get really excited. I have done one other mud race, and it was really muddy, so I will be sure to pack an old t-shirt that I don't mind parting with once the race is over. I am also planning on wearing my old pair of Asics, because it required a large effort to get the mud out of the shoes I wore during my last mud run. I don't have any big plans for my Asics, so, again, if I end up having to part with them, it won't be the end of the world.

I can't say much about my training regimen for this obstacle race, but I am hoping my regular works and triathlon training will have me covered. I think the obstacles I am most excited for are The Original Mud Slide, and Better Than a Dirty Martini.

There was a fun blogger get together this morning at the ranch where the race is taking place so that bloggers could test out some of the obstacles for the Fox 4 Good Day morning program. Unfortunately, I had to say no to that opportunity, because I am still in Houston, but I will be there soon enough! I absolutely can't wait to meet the other blog ambassadors!

I signed up for the 8:00am wave, mostly because I have to hightail it back to Houston for my brother's high school graduation. It will mean an early morning, but it also means that I will also get a first (and clean) look at all of the obstacles. I am very excited, and I will be back with a full review of the race sometime on Saturday (or more likely, Sunday). Daniel graduates on Saturday evening, so I will likely be busy from the time I get home from Dallas until the time I get home from graduation.
Throwback Thursday to my own graduation three years ago
And before I sign off, a happy 18th birthday to my sweet younger brother. Where has the time gone? Thanks for 18 years of endless fun, laughter, fights, one-on-one basketball games, driveway baseball, and so much more. You're one of a kind and I can't wait to see what the next 18 hold for you. Enjoy your special day!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Destination Uganda

Did the title of this post surprise you? I am not in Uganda, but a dear friend and roommate is. Lindsey, my roommate who traveled with Invisible Children last spring, left today for two months in Uganda. She will be meeting up with some of her friends from Invisible Children, as well as doing some work, likely with children, over there. She is the perfect girl for this kind of adventure, and I am so excited to hear about her travels and what all she does over there. She flew out of Bush Intercontinental Airport, so that meant she got to spend the night in Houston with me last night.

We left for Austin a little after 3:00pm, and after hitting a little bit of traffic, pulled into my neighborhood around 5:45pm. After dropping off her bags and freshening up a bit, we picked up another roommate and headed off to City Centre for a delicious dinner at Ruggles Green.

Lindsey and I both opted for the Veggie Nut Burger with a side of fruit, and there was nothing left on either of our plates at the end of the meal.

We decided to walk around City Centre and let our food digest before indulging in some dessert. Lindsey told us that she would probably not be having dessert in Uganda, so she needed something delicious for her final dessert. We decided on frozen yogurt, so we drove over to Orange Leaf, which was the popular place to be last night.

I went for a combination of brownie batter and pomegranate, topped with pineapple, blackberries, and strawberries. It was delicious, and it really felt like summer as Emily, Lindsey, and I sat outside enjoying our frozen yogurt.

After dropping Emily off, Lindsey and I came back to my house and we repacked her bags to make everything fit. It was a very tight squeeze, but thankfully, we managed to make everything fit!

She had a 1:00pm flight to Chicago, so we left for the airport a little after 10:00am. I wanted to allow time for getting turned around, parking, and getting Lindsey checked in and through security. I watched her go through security, but that was as far as I was allowed to go. I am going to miss her so much, but like I said, she is going to do incredible things, and I am sure these two months will absolutely fly.

After seeing her off, I headed back over to City Centre and made a quick stop in Anthropologie (typical), before heading home and going up to the MAC for a cloudy afternoon swim. And my grandmother just walked in the door from Philadelphia, as she is in town for my brother's high school graduation.

P.S. A full review of the Cap Tex Tri is coming soon, I promise. This has been, and will continue to be, a hectic week for me!

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Happy Sunday, everyone! Do you want to know one of the best feelings in the world? Being in Austin with not a single bit of homework to do, nor any real obligations. This doesn't happen often, in fact, I am not sure of the last time that it actually did happen. I have spent a majority of the day just lounging around, and that is perfectly fine with me, because tomorrow will be quite the day.

Everything's all ready for the CapTexTri tomorrow!
In an effort to bring back Survey Sunday, here are my answers to eleven random questions. Enjoy!

1. What is your dream vacation spot?
I have fallen in love with traveling, so my dream vacation spot probably changes every other day. Right now I'm dreaming of a family vacation to Ireland, Scotland, and England.
In terms of "spots," I used to think I was more of a beach person, but I have recently fallen in love with the Colorado mountains in the summertime. Cool(er) temperatures and unlimited hiking trails? Sign me up!

Hiking 37 miles with a 30 pound backpack - the best worst week of my life!
2. Did you pass your driver’s test on the first try?
I didn't have to take a driver's test, but I passed my permit test on the first try, if that means anything. 

3. What was you most memorable birthday celebration?
Oh gosh, I had some great birthday parties growing up. My most memorable is probably my 13th birthday party - Legally Teen - with four of my best friends. We had a dance party at a neighborhood pool club, and yes, my mom did in fact let me out of the house wearing pink on pink on pink.

4. Do you keep in touch with any teachers from grade school /high school?
Absolutely. I keep in touch with many of my elementary and high school teachers. Shout out to social media for making it really easy to do so. Many of my teachers made a huge impact on my life, and contributed to my wanting to become a teacher. Who knows, I might even be co-workers with some of them one day!

5. If you could only do one form of exercise from now until forever, what would it be?
This might just be the hardest question I've ever been asked. Okay, not really, but it is a tough one, mainly because I love discovering new forms of exercise. And as much as I love running, I am not sure I could run every single day for the rest of my life, so, we'll go with swimming. It's relaxing, a total-body workout, and I even manage to get myself a nice tan (and some pretty sweet tan lines).

6. What is your favorite dessert?
If any of you are surprised by my answer to this question, you are probably new here. And if you are new here, welcome to fitness & fro-yo. Please enjoy!

7. What was your favorite drinking game in college?
The "get-64 fl oz-a-day" game. Ever heard of it? ;)

8. If you could have any career, what would you choose?
I would love to open a really cute bakery full of sweet treats that are both healthy and delicious. Healthy eating doesn't mean you have to give up everything you love. Besides, a day without chocolate is a day wasted, right?

9. What is your perfect Friday night?
It depends. Sometimes I'm perfectly content curled up with a blanket and a good book, sometimes it's a nice dinner with friends, and other times I'm up for any kind of adventure, preferably something outdoorsy.

10. What is your favorite movie?
This survey is full of tough questions. I have many favorite movies, but here are my three all-time favorites:
  • Remember the Titans
  • The Parent Trap
  • She's the Man

11. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Texas Forever. 

Houston Rodeo
Texas sunsets. Nothing better.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Back In Austin

I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful Saturday! Mine has been great - I started out in Houston, and now I am sitting in my bedroom in the Clubhouse as I type this post.

I woke up around 7:45am, ate my usual egg white breakfast, took my car to the shop (again), went on a morning walk around my neighborhood, and then hit up the MAC for a light swim before my triathlon on Monday. After lunch and some laundry, I began the two-and-a-half hour drive to Austin. I hit a little bit of rain part of the way there, but other than that, it was a really easy drive.

I arrived back in Austin around 5:15pm, immediately started unloading my car and unpacking everything I brought back with me to Austin. If I don't do it right away, I will simply live out of my duffle bags. For this short of a trip, that wouldn't be so bad, but it's always nicer when our room is neat, without a ton of things cluttering our floor.

After catching up with the roommates that were home, I got back in my car and drove in the direction of the Whole Foods downtown. I hadn't been there in over a month, so it was the perfect thing to satisfy my hunger. I opted for the grilled salmon, with broccoli and green beans on the side.

I high-tailed it back to my car so that I could drive out to Pennybacker Bridge to eat my dinner and watch the sunset. I was in absolute awe of the view, and it was the perfect welcome back to Austin.

"The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders.."
P.S. Remember how I told you I would be back with a new Houston restaurant review? It happened to be closed for repair on the very day I was hoping to go. Just my luck, but I am hoping to make a trip there next week. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 24, 2013


I don't know if you guys are anything like me, but I am a big-time lover of social media, and one of my favorite forms of social media is Instagram, an app that allows you to take and post photos, adding cool filters and meaningful captions before sharing them with your friends. I absolutely love Instagram, and many of my food photos are taken with Instagram. Yet my Instagram photos are not just limited to food (anymore). I take pictures in just about every situation, so you will find a plethora of different "categories," if you will, on my Instagram account.

As you have probably noticed, there are a lot of special images on my account, images of which I would love to have prints. I don't know if you have ever tried to order photos taken on your iPhone from Walgreens, but they don't always turn out so well. The dimensions tend to be a little bit off, and if the dimensions are okay, the printed photo is a bit blurry. At least, that has been my experience with Walgreens-printed-iPhone photos. I was perusing Pinterest (typical), when I came across a pin that talked about ordering prints of your Instagram pictures. What I came across was an iPhone (and Android) app called PostalPix. It allows you to order your favorite prints in many different size options. I have only experimented with the 4x4 option, but there is also the 5x5, the 4x6, 8x8, 5x7, 8x10, and even a grid option. Based on the quality of prints that I have already received, any of them will turn out great, so you don't even have to worry about finding a special 4x4 frame. And what's even better about this app is that the price is absolutely right. I just purchased 14 prints and my total was $4.18. I am extremely happy with my PostalPix photos, so if you have been looking for a way to print off those special moments captured from your iPhone or Android, look no further, because PostalPix is the perfect app for you. 

In fact, I even had one of my Instagram photos printed (and framed, though I got the frame off of Etsy), to give to my mom for Mother's Day. She loved it, and I loved it so much that I purchased an extra one for myself.


Today's breakfast was another round of scrambled egg whites and sauteed spinach, plus a handful of red grapes on the side. A delicious breakfast that will fuel for me what is sure to be a busy Friday.

I'm off to a 9:15am spin class at the MAC, and I promise I will be back for a review of that, and of my Friday afternoon adventures. Have a great one!

P.S. If you are interested in following me on Instagram, here is the link to my account. You will find that many of the photos that end up on here, first make an appearance on Instagram.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Spin Challenge

Well guys, I did it again. I fell behind on the blog scene, again. It's not because I haven't done anything exciting. My day trip to Galveston was a wonderful day of hammocking under a bridge (it's less sketchy than it sounds, I promise), 

Not a worry in the world
and I had quite the eventual drive home when my car started overheating and I spent an hour waving at cars as they drove down the beltway.

My past two days have been fairly uneventful - I unfortunately have had to spend some time working on my government report, though I am having a difficult time finding my motivation, and I have also spent some quality time at the Memorial Athletic Club. I did another double duty with Felipe yesterday, and his spin class may have been the toughest one yet. Though I think I might say that every week. Seriously though, this class focused a lot on speed, so my fitness challenge for you is this -
  • Find the flat road on your bike (mine is at about a level 12)
  • Spin for a few minutes, warming up your legs, maintaining 100 RPM
  • Sprint at 120 RPM for 20 seconds, sprint at 140 RPM for 20 seconds, sprint at 120 RPM for 20 seconds
  • (Still on your flat road) Stand and pedal at 60 RPM for 30 seconds
  • Sit down and start speeding up your legs - find 100 RPM again, and when you feel ready, REPEAT steps 3-4 five times
Now, reaching 140 RPM is virtually impossible, but you can get pretty close to it. And even attempting to get 140 RPM, and especially attempting to maintain an extremely fast RPM is a huge challenge. If you have been experiencing some bike boredom lately, I urge you to give this a try! If you don't finish gasping for breath, you probably weren't going fast enough!

And finally, I'll be back tomorrow with a new Houston restaurant review for your reading enjoyment. Have a good one, after all, tomorrow's Friday!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Adventure: Adair Kitchen and Hermann Park

What a Monday it has been! I am absolutely loving this time at home, especially because, due to my work schedule, it is looking like I will not be able to make it home all summer. I am more than looking forward to a summer spent in Austin, and I am soaking up the time I have in Houston, so it is the best of both worlds.

Let's start with a workout before we get to the adventurous parts of today. I woke up around 7:30am, unsure of what my workout was going to be. I knew there was a 9:00am spin class, but I wasn't sure if I was in the spinning mood. I talked myself into it, however, so I was up at the MAC by about 8:45am, setting up my bike and warming up for a 70-minute ride. Today's ride started off fairly easy before getting really tough. We did a lot of running and sprinting up a "hill," which, to me, is the most difficult combination. I was sufficiently sweaty by the end of the class.

After a shower, a little bit of cleaning, and a little bit of baking (I have clearly become a pro at putting off writing my government report), I headed out the Galleria/Uptown area to try a new-to-me restaurant with Amira and Lindsay. It is called Adair Kitchen and it was absolutely fabulous. The atmosphere was precious - it is exactly what I would want my restaurant to look like if I ever opened one. The menu was written on chalkboards, and Amira, the interior design expert, gave two thumbs up to the layout and feel of the restaurant.

Now for the most important part of a restaurant: the food. Amira and I arrived at the restaurant before Lindsay, so we had quite a bit of time to peruse the menu. I changed my mind approximately four times before settling on a B.Y.O.S - Build Your Own Salad. I am not a big salad eater, mainly because I don't always like everything that gets put on them, but I got to literally build my own salad, so there was no excuse for me not enjoying it.

The salad was HUGE, and I ate every last bite. I got a spring mix with black beans, sweet corn, egg, cherry tomatoes, sprouts, olives, apple pieces, grilled chicken, and balsamic vinaigrette on the side. I don't think I have ever enjoyed a salad more. Everything was so fresh and healthy, and that doesn't just go for my salad.

Amira went for the white fish tacos (one of my options), and she also ate every last bite, while Lindsay opted for a feta turkey burger with sweet potato fries, and was raving about it from the first bite. I stole a few of her sweet potato fries and decided that they are toward the top of the list in the world of sweet potato fries.

If you couldn't tell, our experience at Adair Kitchen was a positive one, and I will definitely be making a return visit soon.

After lunch, we made our way over to the Medical Center and set up our hammocks by the lake at Hermann Park. Lindsay just purchased an Eno, and she quickly fell in love with it. There is so much relaxation to be had in an Eno, and it can be set up literally anywhere. We decided we are going to take a camping trip with our Enos, so I'll keep you guys posted on that one!

All-in-all, it's been a great Monday. I'm off to take a walk around my neighborhood and get a cooler together for my roadtrip to Galveston tomorrow. See y'all tomorrow evening!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Make It Fun

Two posts in one day! I'm trying to make up for my lack of posting these past couple of days. And I am also procrastinating from the government report I have to write. Writing papers in the summer should be a crime, but thankfully this is the only one I will have to write until the fall, so I don't have much room to complain. It is just hard to motivate myself to sit down and write a paper when there are so many recipes to pin. Rough life, right?

Anyway, I promised the return of food- and workout-related posts, so I am ready to make good on my promise. Around 12:30 this afternoon, I was trying to decide what my next move was. Do I start working on my paper? Take a walk around my neighborhood? I had settled on a walk around my neighborhood when I got a text from my good friend Amira. It read: "It's such a beautiful day outside! Want to go rollerblading?" It was a beautiful day outside, and I absolutely love rollerblading, so I was obviously in.

Are we in California? Photo compliments of Amira
She picked me up and we drove down Dairy Ashford until we found a place to park. We shed our tennis shoes for blades and headed out along the bayou until we hit Terry Hershey Park. We stopped for some water before retracing our paths back to the car. The sunshine, a great friend, and a fun exercise routine make for a great Sunday afternoon. What I love about rollerblading is that it's a fabulous workout, but it is also something that I really enjoy. Not that I don't enjoy pedaling through an intense spin class, but rollerblading doesn't even feel like I'm working out. The moral of that story is to think of something you love to do, because chances are, it can be made into a great workout! 

Terry Hershey Park
Anyway, the fun did not stop with the afternoon blade date. We are both frozen yogurt connoisseurs, so we decided that we had more than earned a trip to Pinkberry for some frozen yogurt. I opted for a combination of chocolate hazelnut and pomegranate topped with pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, and my taste buds have been smiling ever since. It was the perfect combination of sweet and tangy, and it might even become my new favorite frozen yogurt establishment. Bold statement, I know.

And now I'm going to pin more dessert recipes really going to make some headway on that government report. The faster I finish it, the faster I finish the class. Good night!

Survey Sunday Makes A Comeback

Have you missed this? I certainly have. I love surveys, so when I came across this survey while reading PBFingers yesterday, I knew I had found my Sunday post. Survey Sunday makes a comeback, and this one has the theme of "currently," so in the following paragraphs, you will find things that I am currently loving or doing. Enjoy!

Current Book(s):

I just finished reading Save Me by Lisa Scottoline and I loved it. For my next book, I am either going to read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (a classic), or start one of Jack Keruoac's novels.

I also just recently read Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline, and The Prodigal God by Tim Keller. I highly recommend both if you are in the market for a new book. But don't get me wrong, I love a good beach book, and I have a feeling Nicholas Sparks will be making an appearance on my Kindle in the very near future.

Current Music:

I have four current favorite songs:
  • I Want Crazy - Hunter Hayes
  • It's A Beautiful Day - Michael Buble
  • Whom Shall I Fear - Chris Tomlin
  • Faster - Matt Nathanson
I love discovering new music, so if you have any current favorites, please send them my way!

Current Guilty Pleasure:

I'm not sure if I have any current guilty pleasures. Well, maybe sitting on Pinterest pinning dessert recipe after dessert recipe after dessert recipe is my current guilty pleasure.


Current Nail Color:

I almost never have my fingernails painted because it drives me crazy when they start chipping (which for me tends to happen rather quickly), but my toe nails are currently painted Big Apple Red.

Current Drink:

Water. Always water. I'm so boring!

Current Food:

Cuties. I am absolutely obsessed. They are just the perfect snack!

Current Favorite Show:

Pretty Little Liars. Yes, I am 21 years old, but this show is intense. I have been known to jump in fright when watching it at night.

Current Wish List:

Ireland. My mom, brother, and I were just recently dreaming about a family trip to Ireland, Scotland, and England the summer after I graduate. Now we just have to get my dad on board!

The Fairy Pools on the Isle of Syke, Scotland (Source)
Killarney, Ireland (Source)

Current needs:

I don't necessarily need them, but I am in the market for a pair of wedges. I found the perfect pair at DSW in Austin a few weeks ago, but I (typical) let my wallet at home. I realize that I could have gone back for them, but I just never made my way over there again. Guess they weren't that important to me!

Current Indulgence:

Well, I'd have to go with frozen yogurt. I am in desperate need of a fro-yo stop ASAP.

Current Blessing:

Oh, there's so, so many. But my current blessing is probably being in Houston for a few weeks and getting to catch up with some of my wonderful friends, eat at some of my favorite restaurants, and spend some time resting.

Daniel and I before his prom
Current Outfit:

Nike shorts and a t-shirt is always my favorite outfit, but if we are talking about making myself look presentable, I'm all about the maxi dresses. I just purchased two new ones and I can't wait to wear them. They're cute and comfy, and they make looking cute a pretty easy task.

Current Excitement:

I'm going to Schlitterbahn in Galveston on Tuesday, and since I am a big-time lover of water parks, I am pretty excited about it.

I have missed my weekly edition of Survey Sunday, so maybe I'll come across some more so I can bring back the trend. Until then, enjoy the rest of your Sunday. It's looking like a beautiful one here in Houston!