Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hook 'Em Horns

And it's back. Longhorn football, that is. Though I did not order season tickets (I know, I know), I am still very excited for the upcoming football season. I have hope that we will make up for our dismal past three seasons, and maybe that we'll even beat that team north of the Red River. Our first game is tonight against New Mexico State, and I am hoping that we will see our beautiful tower lit orange!

I woke up around 7:45 this morning and knew that a good run would be the best way to start off my Saturday. I originally told myself that I needed to run seven miles in preparation for my half marathon, but I can push that back a week or two, so I decided to keep it at an even five miles (actually, 5.4) using my 45-minute treadmill workout. The first few minutes were pretty rough, but I got into a groove and I felt as though I could have kept running for miles. However, Dylan and I both needed to return something to the Co-Op, so we decided it would be better to do that before things on campus got too crazy with the big game. It was pretty perfect timing as I managed to get home and take a quick shower before he got to my house.


I know you guys are getting tired of the scrambled egg whites and spinach picture, so I decided to keep things interesting and switch it up a little bit for you guys today. I originally had plans to try a new recipe entirely, but as I didn't get home from running those errands until after 11:00am, and I was still pretty hot from my run and walking down the drag, I opted for a smoothie made using frozen peaches, raspberries, flax milk, spinach, and chia seeds. This smoothie was a bit of a struggle to blend, as the peaches were pretty frozen and were giving me some serious trouble this morning. It was one of my thicker smoothies, but it was still delicious. The peach-raspberry combination is definitely one of my favorites!

But, be on the lookout for a new-to-me recipe on the blog tomorrow. It should be a good one!

And now I am taking a break from some school work to type up this blog post. I am currently posted up in the beautiful new liberal arts building on campus, as I tend to get distracted when I study at my house, especially when all of my roommates are home. It's no fault against them, but I often want to hang out with them instead of doing my work. Plus, it's really my last semester to take advantage of being on campus, and I plan to discover the best study (and lesson planning) spots around the 40 acres.

Have a great college football Saturday and Hook 'Em Horns! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

60-Minute Treadmill Workout

Happy FRIDAY! After a semester of not having any class on Friday, it was a little bit harder for me to accept the fact that I do in fact have to go to class on Fridays this semester, but at least it's only one class and I am done by 10am. I will also likely be going to Westwood to student teach on Fridays anyway, so why not start the day with a class of my own?

After class I quickly changed and headed up to the gym before I could talk myself out of it. Once I start actually going to the school, I am going to try my hardest to work out early in the morning, but since I have quite a bit more free time right now than I will in a few weeks, I'll let myself sleep in a little bit!


Today's workout had me running and walking for an hour on the treadmill. I was changing the speed so often that it made the ten minutes I was running fly by, and then I got to follow that up with five minutes of walking. I completed the cycle four times, and there was my hour. I covered about 1.2 miles in ten minutes of running, and 6.25 miles total. Not a bad Friday workout.

After my time at the gym, I came home to shower and do a little bit of reading - I'm trying to stay caught up with everything this semester - and now I'm about to go meet Dylan for lunch. Have a great one! And go Spartans!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


I'm really doing it, y'all. Today was the first day of my UTeach internship class, known as "640" to all of the students, and it went better than I ever could have hoped. Yes, it is going to be extremely time-consuming, and I will probably have many stressed out moments, but I think I am going to learn so much about the art of teaching and just how to teach English in general, that I can't help but be excited about it. We are required to have 45 hours in the field, and of those 45 hours, 36 are observation hours, and nine of them will be spent teaching lessons. We will have university observers come and observe two of those lessons, and we also have to record ourselves teaching one lesson toward the end of the semester and hand it into our professor so she can watch it, evaluate us, and give us feedback on how we are doing. 

The first part of this three-hour class was spent on explaining all of that fun stuff, and after a ten-minute break, we got our district assignments so that we could start filling out our criminal background cheeks. I am going to be in Round Rock ISD, and though I wasn't supposed to find out the actual school I am going to be in until next week, Round Rock ISD required us to fill out the specific school, and I learned that I am going to be at Westwood High School. I have heard of Westwood High School because, not only is it a great school academically, it is also home to a pretty powerhouse volleyball team. Or at least it was when I was playing high school volleyball. I was not told the name of my cooperating teacher, only that I will "just love her," and I absolutely can't wait to meet her and begin this exciting journey. Once my background check clears (let's cross our fingers!), I can start visiting the school. I am so excited!

After my 640 class ended, I high-tailed it all the way across campus for a 12:30pm History and Development of Advertising class. If you ask me why I am taking an advertising class, blame it on the fact that both of my parents worked in advertising, and my dad is not letting me take just nine hours this semester. Though today was only syllabus and introduction day, I am really excited about this class. I feel as though discussing the persuasive techniques used by advertisers will be valuable to me as an English teacher, because I can use advertisements to teach a lesson that is actually applicable to the real world.

All-in-all, an excellent, albeit sweaty, second day of class! Add in the fact that I ran into two high school friends on campus, and it just can't be beat.


Now that I got the class thing out of my system, let's back up to before class this morning. I woke up a little bit before 6:30am and biked on over to Gregory for an early morning swim. I hadn't been swimming since last Thursday, and my sore muscles welcomed a relaxing swim. I swam for a little less than an hour before calling it a day and heading back to the Clubhouse to get ready for school.


Breakfast this morning looked a lot like it did yesterday morning - scrambled egg whites and spinach - and it was delicious. It was the perfect fuel for a long school day.


My advertising class let out a little bit early, but I decided to stick around campus to decide if I wanted to stay in my 3:30pm class (I didn't), so I ate the lunch that I packed myself. I had already eaten the strawberries and grapes, but I sat down at a table in the Union and ate the star of the show: my chicken wrap. 

My parents sent me back to Austin with some leftover chicken from dinner one night, so I cut a piece of it up and put it inside a FlatOut Flatbread along with some hummus, spinach, and pickles. I wrapped it all up, secured it with a rubber band, and I was so sad when it was gone. I will definitely be utilizing more of these wraps, and I can't wait to experiment with different ingredients to see which ingredients I like best together.

I'll work on the picture quality of them, I promise!
And on the side I opened up a personal bag of Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popcorn. If you guys haven't tried the Boom Chicka Pop popcorn brand, I highly recommend it. I have tried the sea salt and the lightly sweet flavors, and both are excellent (and addicting). The personal bags are absolutely necessary for me, because I have no self control when it comes to popcorn.

And now I am going to maybe do some reading before hitting up the big rivalry football game between Anderson High School and McCallum High School to see how my girls first week of high school is going. Enjoy the rest of your Thursday!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Last First Day

As a student, that is. Though I will (hopefully) have many more "first days" ahead of me, this is my 18th and final first day as a student. Hard to believe that we've gone from this

to this.

I think I looked a little cuter on the first day of Pre-K than I did today, but I am certainly not going to waste my last year of being able to wear shorts, a t-shirt, and chacos to school. But before I dive into today, let's back up a bit to yesterday. I got back to Austin around 3:00pm yesterday, and I immediately started unloading my car and attempted to put things in their proper places, but Sarah suggested a walk around Town Lake, and I was obviously not going to turn that down. Our work schedules paired with the fact that we both like spending time at our respective San Antonio and Houston homes meant that we kept missing one another for about two weeks. So I was more than game for a little catch up time with my suite one roomie.

Shortly after we returned from our walk, all eight members of the Clubhouse were in the same place at the same time (this may never happen again) and we went to dinner together at Galaxy Cafe. If you have been reading my blog fairly regularly, you know that is one of my Austin favorites. I opted for the garden salad with grilled chicken, topped with balsamic vinaigrette, and it was delicious. Galaxy is very generous with their salad portions, yet I still ate almost every last bite, plus more than a few of Sarah's sweet potato fries.

I'm a fan of this word!
We all made our way back to the Clubhouse after dinner, and since I was going to HEB to restock my food supply for the week, I offered to pick up the ingredients necessary to make a pizookie. If you aren't familiar with what a pizookie is, it is a huge cookie (normally chocolate chip) that is served warm and gooey, topped with ice cream (normally vanilla). We were served pizookies after we finished hiking 37 miles through the mountains at Wilderness Ranch in Colorado, and I don't think it lasted even two minutes on the table. 

Due to my lactose intolerance, I am unable to enjoy the greatness that is a pizookie, so Sarah and I went back out to Yogurt Planet in the Triangle so that we could indulge in a little frozen yogurt before hitting the grocery store. I went for a mix of chocolate brownie and blueberry, topped with blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Delicious.

I then tried to go to bed early and get a good night's sleep before the first day of school, but I, even though I went on and on in my last post about how "ready" I was for school to start, laid in bed worrying about all of the things I have going on this semester and how in the world I am going to make everything fit without losing my sanity. Then I realized that I just have to take it one day at a time, and that I am absolutely going to get through this semester, with a smile on my face to boot. It will be one big balancing act, but something tells me it's going to be a great year.

First Day

Now we can get to the first day of school! I woke bright and early, and took advantage of a sleeping house to journal and read before my day really got going. Around 8:00am I started getting pretty hungry for breakfast, so I scrambled up some egg whites and spinach, topped with pepper and salsa before biking that familiar route to campus for my 9am class - Literary Studies for High School Teachers of English. 

Today was technically only "syllabus day," but this class is a very theoretical class, with some method thrown into the mix, but we are going to be talking a lot about language and the power of language in different texts, as well as developing our own philosophy on language and teaching. I read two chapters out of our first book this morning after I got home from class and it talked a lot about developing your own theory about the nature of language and language learning based on your personality and the content of your curriculum. It was reassuring to read that every teacher develops his or her own teaching personality, and that even though the curriculum might be the same, each teacher does things a little bit differently, so I'm excited to see what this class holds.


After completing my reading, I put on my bike shorts and headed up to the gym for my favorite Austin spin class. I warmed up with 20 minutes on the treadmill, alternating five minutes of walking with five minutes of running, before going upstairs to set up my bike. This class was tough, but in such a good way. We did lots of hill training, and lots of sprints on those hills. That is generally my least favorite thing to do on a bike, but we changed things up so often that it was hard to notice how hard my legs were working.


I had worked up quite the appetite by this point, and with the return of the school year comes the return of my dairy-free pizza. It's been so long since I've recreated this favorite recipe of mine, and I was probably a little too excited about eating it. In any case, it was delicious, and I see many more of these pizzas in my future.

And with that, I'm off to run a few errands that I neglected to run while I was in Houston. I hope to pop back in with a recount of my UTeach class tomorrow - it's sure to be the source of many of my blog posts this semester!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'm Ready

I have had such an enjoyable "last" summer that I have just been pushing the fact that school starts tomorrow to the back of my mind. Sure, I ordered (and even started to read some of) my textbooks, I looked on blackboard to see if any of my professors posted my syllabi early (they didn't), and I even went shopping and stocked up on some "teacher clothes," but I still didn't want to accept the fact that my senior year of college is about to begin.

I think part of the reason I was so against school starting back up again is that I was scared. I am sure that I haven mentioned it before, but this year I will be spending a lot of my time in an Austin high school. I will be teaching high school students, not much younger than myself, literary strategies, how to read and understand the classics, and just how to be a functioning human being in society. I didn't feel at all equipped to stand up at the front of a classroom and teach anyone about books and concepts that I myself don't fully understand. But then it dawned on me, and I started to feel excited about everything I have ahead of me. I'm going to be a senior in college and no, I won't have read every single book. I won't have all the answers. And I'll probably make more mistakes than I'll care to admit. And I think back on my first year of volleyball. Was I very good? No, as I had no experience playing the sport, and I had to learn the rules and points of the game just like every other great volleyball player that stood before me. Every time I played, every touch on the ball, made me a better player, and every time I sit in the classroom of my UTL640 class, every time I sit in the back of a high school classroom observing, and every time I get up in front of the class to teach a lesson, I'll get a little bit better. And that's when the excitement hit me. I have wanted to become a teacher for as long as I can remember, and I got so excited the other day when I was talking to my parents about the real-life application of typically boring lessons I read about in one of my books. I get so excited every time I buy a new "teacher outfit." And I can't wait to find out what school I'll be in this fall. And I am beyond excited to share this journey with you guys. Cut me a little slack on the blogging front this semester, though, because I hear this internship semester is insane. But I promise I will update y'all as frequently as I possibly can. And I will of course continue my food and exercise posts as often as I can. So now that I have spilled my heart out to you guys, let's continue on with our regularly scheduled events.


What was probably my last trip to the MAC, which is a story for another time, ended on a very good note. I took a Muscle Blast class with Felipe and my legs are going to be S-O-R-E tomorrow. We did lots of lunges and lots of squats, which are moves that I typically don't incorporate into my workouts on my own these days, so it's good to have someone kicking my butt into gear. Two of my favorite exercises of the morning were the single-leg squats, which require balance before you can even think about completing the move, and reverse lunges from a bench holding dumbbells.


I thought about going upstairs to run a little bit on a treadmill, but my legs were absolutely shot, so I went back to my house where I decided to walk my favorite route around my neighborhood before showering and making myself some breakfast.


I bought liquid egg whites on Thursday when I got home, but this is the first time I have even thought about eating them for breakfast. I enjoyed too much refreshing and delicious fruit all of the other days I was at home, that scrambled egg whites and spinach didn't even cross my mind. Today, however, we were running short on fruit, and I decided to use up the rest of the spinach that I brought home from Austin with me. So, scrambled egg whites, spinach, and salsa it was. And it was delicious.

And with that, I'll see you guys from Austin. Senior year, let's do this!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bucket List Marathons

Happy Sunday! I have a survey coming for you guys later, but to hold you over until that gets posted, here's a post you runners might especially enjoy.

As an member, I receive daily emails from them containing workout and diet tips, race entry discounts, and really anything and everything that has to do with running. I have quite the bucket list going, so when I read that the title of an article was "10 Bucket List Marathons," I had to read a little further. Running a marathon is in fact one of the items on my bucket list, so why not cross something off my bucket list with a race that makes an appearance on another bucket list?

10 Bucket List Marathons
  • Chicago Marathon
  • New York City Marathon
  • Boston Marathon
  • Great Wall Marathon
  • Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon
  • Athens Marathon
  • Big Sur International Marathon
  • Pikes Peak Marathon
  • London Marathon
  • Honolulu Marathon

It would be really hard for me to pick just one of them, but I think the elevation factor of the Pikes Peak Marathon knocks that one off right away. The last time I was in Colorado, I tried going for a morning run and made it maybe five minutes before I turned my run into a walk. And while it would be a dream to participate in the Boston Marathon, participation in that marathon means I would have had to run a marathon prior to that one. As much as I love running, I have a feeling that running a marathon will be a "one and done" kind of thing for me. I don't have much of a desire to visit China, mainly because I don't know how well I would be able to handle the food, the Great Wall Marathon event sounds really cool. And who could turn down running a race through the iconic New York City, the beautiful Honolulu beaches, or the historic streets of London? If I do run a full marathon one day, I will be sure to make it a big one!

Question of the morning:
  • Have you run any of these "Bucket List Marathons?" Are there any other marathons that you have run and loved?

Friday, August 23, 2013


I have decided that my senior year will be, among other things, the year of writing letters. One of my very favorite things, ever since I was a kid, is receiving letters in the mail. I loved sorting through the mail when I heard it drop through our mail slot to see if anything had my name on the front, and I still love finding a letter addressed to me in the Clubhouse mailbox. I figure that other people have to love receiving notes and letters just as much as I do, so I am going to make a very conscious effort to get good about writing letters to friends and family this last year of college. As I usually do when I am home, I made a trip up to City Centre, and though I usually spend the most time in Anthropologie, today I spent the most time browsing the stationery at Paper Source. They have so many fun options that it was hard for me to pick just one. So, I bought a couple of different varieties that will hopefully last me for quite a while.

If you want to be on the receiving end of one of these letters, be sure to leave me your address!

But let's back up a little bit. This morning started bright and early, as I went for a nice humid walk around my neighborhood as a warm-up to my 9:15am spin class. This is both one of my favorite spin classes, and one that requires quite a bit of effort in order to get me there, because it is a tough class. I really like the instructor, but it is a very grueling 70 minutes. I really liked the class today, and one of my favorite aspects was the portion where we did a series of five quick jumps, sat back on the saddle and sprinted for 15 seconds, and then recovered for 30 seconds. We repeated that sequence five times through, and it was the constant change that made it so enjoyable for me.

After a quick trip to Randall's to restock my favorite produce, I headed home to shower and get ready to go visit Mr. Avis up at Stratford and then run some errands. That's where my journey to City Centre comes in. I started getting pretty hungry toward the end of my errand running, so I called in an order to La Madeleine. I know La Madeleine is not a Houston original, but it is a restaurant that just reminds me of being home. I opted for my usual - the wildfield salad with grilled chicken, and I even purchased an extra bottle of their Balsamic Vinaigrette to take back to Austin with me. A very worthwhile purchase.

I also had some hummus and carrots, a few slices of cantaloupe, and too much freshly cut watermelon. I've said it before, but the fruit is one of my favorite parts of summer.

And now I'm off to get ready to go watch some more high school volleyball. One of my volleyball coaches at Stratford just recently accepted a head coaching job at a school out in Sugar Land, and I am very excited to go watch her do her thing. I am heading out there a little bit early so that I can explore the area, because Sugar Land is not an area with which I am very familiar.

I hope you all are having a superb Friday. For those of you who are students and teachers getting ready to go back to school, make this last weekend of freedom a fun one!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Glory Days

Today was a good day. It started with a quiet morning swim at Gregory Gym, probably my last before school starts back up, followed up with a delicious peach-raspberry-banana smoothie on my beautiful drive home to Houston, and ended with an evening spent watching Stratford play in the SBISD volleyball tournament and eating Hungry's with my mom. So now that I've outlined the day, let's go into a little more detail, shall we?


When my alarm went off this morning, I immediately hit snooze. I stayed up later than usual reading last night, and then I didn't fall asleep right away. My hitting the snooze button was totally fine, as the outdoor lap pool didn't open until 9:00 this morning. I ended up getting up around 7:40am, giving myself plenty of time to eat a little something and pack up what I wanted to take home with me. Around 8:40am I biked on over to Gregory and I had the pool all to myself for a few minutes.

I swam a mile and a half this morning, though I felt as though I could have gone on forever. The sun was rising over the pool, and it allowed me a pretty sweet view of the top of our beautiful stadium. It's mornings like these that make me stop and appreciate the great school I get to attend.


I got back to the Clubhouse a little after 10:15am, where I quickly showered and loaded the rest of my belongings into my car. Just before I left, I used up the rest of my frozen peaches, frozen raspberries, and the lone banana on my banana hanger to make myself a little roadtrip snack. Those three fruits paired with flax milk, spinach, and chia seeds made for one delicious smoothie, that lasted all of five minutes into my drive.

My drive home was probably one of my favorites yet. Remember yesterday how I was worrying about the rain? Well, there wasn't a rain cloud in sight, and I don't think I could have asked for a more beautiful day to drive to Houston. When I looked out my window, it just screamed "Texas" at me, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I got home right about 1:30pm, so I unloaded my car, made a quick grocery store run so that I would have something to eat for breakfast tomorrow, and then my mom made the familiar drive up to Stratford High School to watch the first round of the Spring Branch ISD volleyball tournament. This tournament holds a special place in my heart because we actually won the tournament my senior year of high school, and I even managed to add a little hardware to my own personal collection.

While the outcome was not quite what they were hoping for, I saw a lot of potential in the team, and their second match against Seven Lakes was really exciting. There were quite a few nail-biting rallies, and there is a really core group of players that made the games really fun to watch. And, as always, it made me really miss playing volleyball. There was nothing better than playing an intense game in which both teams are constantly trading points.

And after our time up at Stratford, my mom and I just had to make a stop to pick up dinner from Hungry's. Because everything on the menu is excellent, I had a hard time deciding what to order, but I eventually settled on the veggie black bean burger (sans cheese) with their baked french fries on the side. Topped with avocado and hot sauce, it just can't be beat, and I am unashamed to say that I ate every last bite.

Be on the lookout for more delicious Houston adventures throughout my time at home. I'm sure to hit all of my very favorites one last time before I head back to Austin for good. See you guys tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

One Week

In some ways it feels as though this summer has gone on forever, and in other ways, it feels like I snapped my fingers and it was over. Though I still have one week to go, I can't help but think about how I only have one more week of freedom before the craziness starts back up again. I welcome the routine that comes from going to class, completing homework assignments, planning lessons, and juggling YoungLife, a regular exercise routine, and a social life, but there is something to be said about waking up in the morning with no definite plans for the day. That being said, I am both excited for and dreading the start of my senior year. Excited because with the start of senior year comes so many exciting opportunities and events, but I am dreading it because this is my last year to just be a student, to be surrounded by such great community all the time, to live within biking distance of all of my best friends, and my last year to wear Nike shorts and chacos on the reg. That last one is really the killer. But now that I have finished pouring out my senior year sob story, let's move on with the regularly scheduled events.
We're back to being the senior/fish pair this year

I slept so well last night, and though I didn't necessarily want to get up with my alarm clock, I had a nice to-do list of things I wanted to accomplish today, and the earlier I got up, the better. Though my hamstrings were feeling yesterday's Body Pump class, I slipped on my tennis shoes and headed out for a morning walk around Town Lake. I am so going to miss those once school starts back up.

Once I got back to the Clubhouse, I made a quick run over to the post office to mail the cookies I made last night, before heading back to the Clubhouse for breakfast. Today's breakfast looked identical to yesterday's breakfast, in that I made myself another peach berry smoothie. It was refreshing, delicious, and filling. And you can't ask for much more than that.


After doing a little bit of lounging, I went to the gym for my favorite Austin spin class. I felt a tiny pang of remorse knowing that I won't be in Houston to take Felipe's spin class for quite some time, but today's challenging class more than made up for it. We did a lot of jumps and attacks on an incline, and my legs were definitely feeling it. I was worn out by the end of the class, and more than ready for a shower and some lunch.

Lunch today featured the same hummus crusted chicken that I have been eating these past couple of days. Since I am going out of town tomorrow, I am trying to finish up most of my food that I have in the refrigerator before it goes bad. Lucky for me, the chicken still tastes wonderful, so I have no complaints about having to eat it for the third day in a row.

After lunch, Katie and I got out of the Clubhouse for a bit and headed north to the Domain. I have been meaning to get a necklace polished for quite some time, and we killed some time in Anthropologie and Dick's Sporting Goods. Two places in which a lot of damage can be done in a very short amount of time. In my defense, both of the pieces I bought at Anthropologie will be used for student teaching this year. They are classy, cute, and comfortable, which is truly an unbeatable combination that I just didn't feel I could pass up.

Now I'm lounging around the house waiting for the storm to come, hoping that it rolls through tonight, but that it clears up for my drive home to Houston tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your hump day!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Today was my first full day of being "unemployed," and I am not going to lie and tell you that it didn't feel great. I absolutely love SRD, and I am so thankful for all that they have done for me - from shaping my college career when I lived there my freshman year, selecting me to be a resident assistant alongside eight wonderful ladies, and for allowing me to work there this summer. It really is the perfect job, and though I complained about it a lot some toward the end, I truly loved being able to tell people about how much SRD means to me when they call and ask questions, or when they come in for a tour. That being said, a day full of whatever the heck I wanted to do was wonderful, too.

So let's back up to yesterday and go from there. After work, I went for a swim over at Gregory Gym - my first in a while - and followed that up with a bit of room and closet organization, as well as a bike ride through campus to the capitol.

I am going home Thursday afternoon until probably Tuesday afternoon, so I want to make sure that I have everything in order to start school again on Wednesday. I picked up my textbooks, bought my notebooks, organized my desk area, and I feel as though I am mostly ready to go. We'll see how I feel come next Tuesday night, though!

After my bike ride, I set out to cross a Pinterest recipe off of my list - hummus crusted chicken. It is a surprisingly easy dish, and it tastes as good as it looks. I do have one reminder for you - remember to thaw your chicken out completely, or be looking at 15-20 more minutes in the oven. Not that that happened to me or anything.

Anyway, I used red roasted pepper hummus to coat the chicken, but be sure to pick out your favorite flavor of hummus if you choose to make this dish, as it will have your own personal touch to it when you pull it out of the oven. My only complaint about this dish is that the chicken to veggie ratio is a bit off, so I would be sure to add either one more zucchini or squash to the dish. Other than that, though, it tastes delicious, and I ate my second helping of it tonight for dinner. But more on that in a minute.

Breakfast & Workout

Breakfast this morning was another one of my Pinterest recipes - a peach raspberry smoothie. I woke up around 7:45am, headed to Town Lake for a morning walk, and when I returned to the Clubhouse, I was more than ready for something cold and refreshing. Into the blender went:
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Frozen peaches
  • Frozen berries
  • 3/4 cup (flax) milk
  • 1 cup spinach
  • Sprinkle of chia seeds

I think due to the especially frozen peaches, this smoothie was pretty difficult to blend at first, but it ended up at just the perfect consistency. I poured it into my latest purchase (because I couldn't resist purchasing this mug even though I don't drink coffee) from Paper Source, and drank every last drop while Katie ate her daily dose of morning oats. We ran (get it?) into one another at Town Lake, and I ended up running the last six or so minutes with her. Though I don't normally run with other people, Katie and I keep a pretty similar pace, so I welcomed the company this morning.

After finishing my smoothie, I got back in my car for a 10am Body Pump class at the gym. I really liked the class today, though the bicep track nearly killed me. To end our track, we did 24 bicep curls, which doesn't seem like very many until you've already been doing them for three minutes. The instructor had us complete some tracks from older releases, and while I haven't been the biggest fan of the latest squat and lunge tracks, I really liked what we did today. Sometimes all you need is a little variety.

I came home to shower, though I am not entirely sure why, as no less than an hour and a half later Dylan and I walked to a little park by his house to play tennis. I am quick to admit that I am no tennis star, but we had a lot of fun, and we ended up playing for a little over two hours. Dylan actually used to play tennis, so he coached me as best he could, and I will say that there was at least a tiny bit of improvement by the end of our tennis session. My serves were pretty good, anyway. And due to the fact that we played in the very middle of the day, and the fact that I neglected to apply even one spray of sunscreen, I am currently living with the repercussion of a really cute sports bra tan line. Having skin that tans easily is both a blessing and a curse, I guess.

After tennis, I set out to pick up my textbooks and make a quick trip to the grocery store because I just finished baking approximately 72 cookies. I have no real reason behind my baking extravaganza except the fact that I felt like baking cookies to give to other people. My brother in Oklahoma, Amira in Louisiana, and anyone else who might enjoy some candy-stuffed cookies.


Dinner came together in a flash, thanks to a recipe that serves four. I did mention that the veggies were lacking in the chicken to veggie ratio, so I cooked up some broccoli to add to the mix, and I enjoyed round two of my hummus crusted chicken. And it was just as good the second time around.

And that, my friends and faithful followers, is a description of Kelli's perfect summer day. I'm worn out, so curling up with a book is probably next on the agenda. I hope your Tuesday has been just as much fun!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Proposal

Well, let's start at the very beginning of yesterday, shall we? It was a long but wonderful day, and I want you guys to get to experience every moment of this special day with me. It will be a long one, so prepare yourselves!

I woke up around 7:20am, when I immediately threw on socks and tennis shoes and headed out the door for a quiet morning walk around Town Lake. Well, I thought it would be quiet, but Town Lake was more crowded than I have probably ever seen it. It was no matter, because I got in some good me time before a very crazy day filled with tons of faces - both old and new.

I headed straight home after my walk in order to eat breakfast with enough time to digest it before a 10:00am spin class at the gym. I indulged in some pineapple and cantaloupe before deciding on a real breakfast of my recently-made apple cinnamon oatmeal bake, courtesy of this recipe. I made my bake almost identical, except I substituted walnuts for pecans, not because I don't like pecans, but walnuts were what I had available, and I also threw in some coconut flakes for a little extra flavor. It is delicious, addicting, and thankfully, filled with healthy ingredients.

Shortly after finishing breakfast and brushing my teeth, I filled up my CamelBak and got back in my car to head up the road to 24 Hour Fitness for a spin class with a new instructor. Though I really liked the class, and our constant bursts of acceleration really gave me a new challenge, I am not a fan of instructors who feel the need to talk their class through every single pedal stroke. It is simply a matter of personal preference, but I do tend to prefer instructors who give me a little bit of peace and quiet to work through what I'm doing.

And after my spin class is where my day got crazy. I quickly showered and got dressed and headed out the door to pick up Dylan, and we set out on our journey to College Station. One of his high school friends happened to be moving in to her new apartment today, so he hung around to help her do that while I headed off to my next destination: the MSC on the Texas A&M University campus. Unfortunately, finding the correct parking garage turned out to be harder than I thought. Annie, the other "childhood friend," and I eventually met up and just parked where we could find a spot, calling anyone we could think of to give us directions to the MSC. Seeing a crowd of blue shirts brought us extreme feelings of relief. We quickly put on our blue "SAY YES!" shirts and waited to be told what to do. We knew we were participating in a lip dub, and we also knew our lines, but we weren't entirely sure how that would play out. Annie and I had the very opening lines, and then we had to run across the field for our next lines, and then follow the crowd under the century tree for the final tunnel. 

We ran through the lip dub one time, and then we waited for Erin and Shawn to arrive at the scene. It was no surprise what was happening once she spotted a trail of people wearing blue shirts that said SAY YES! on them, but it was still so much fun to see the expression on her face as she saw us for the first time. We went through the lip dub, and pulled it off pretty well I might add, and good news, SHE SAID YES! And though I have no doubt they will stay together forever, the fact that she was proposed to under the century tree means they are sure to stay together forever. It also means that since I walked under the tree alone, I am going to be alone forever. Annie and I decided that because we aren't students at Texas A&M, that tradition doesn't apply to us. Good logic, right?

Erin's ring is just beautiful, and she was so excited to see everyone who was there to share this special day with her. Annie and I were both so honored and excited to get to be a part of it, and though it was about 1000 degrees outside and I didn't think I would ever stop sweating, I wouldn't trade one second of it for anything in the world. Erin is going to be one stunning bride, and I can't wait to see how their relationship is used to honor and serve God and other people. I don't think the fact that one of my friends is actually engaged has really sunk in, but I am just so excited for her that nothing could wipe the smile off of my face yesterday.

After a few pictures and a mile-long trek back to our cars, I headed back over to meet Dylan and Megan, and we sat around her apartment waiting for Kevin to get back from fish camp so we could go get dinner. Having eaten only an apple and a cutie around 2:00pm right before the proposal festivities, I was ravenous, and I probably could have eaten just about anything put in front of me. We settled on going to Grub Burger Bar, which I had been to before, but I remembered really liking it. Dylan and I both agreed that it was College Station's version of our Hopdoddy, down to the way you are seated. Though I still think I like Hopdoddy better, I can't deny that my turkey burger was excellent. And judging by the fact that all of our plates were licked clean, I think it's safe to say that we all enjoyed our meals.

Kevin suggested getting frozen yogurt at Yogurtland, and I am not one to turn that down, so we made Yogurtland our next destination. I got a combination of chocolate milkshake, coconut, and raspberry topped with kiwi, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and a sprinkle of coconut. It had been a while since I had indulged in frozen yogurt, and it was just what my stomach wanted.

After frozen yogurt, we met up with some mutual friends for about 15 minutes before getting back on the road to Austin. I got back around 10:45pm, and I was thoroughly exhausted, but it was an absolutely wonderful day that I am so glad I got to be a part of. And, if the proposal video ends up on YouTube, I will be sure to share it with all of you. Shawn did an incredible job with everything, and this is a story Erin will be able to tell forever.