A Little of This, A Little of That…

Happy Friday!

Unlike recent weeks, I wasn’t SUPER OMG DESPERATE for this week to be over. It’s been a relatively quiet week at work (busy for sure, but not OMG-wanna-rip-my-hair-out stressful) and I have kept it similarly quiet at home — I’ve been laying low and been in bed by 10:30 every night!

I decided on Monday to give myself a little detox, so I’ve not only abstained from alcohol for the past 5 days, but I’ve also limited my handfuls of cashews at work, and spoonfuls of Nutella at home 😉

In addition to the detox and walking/biking to work every day, I ran twice (3 miles on Tues & 5 miles on Thurs) and did strength building exercises twice (on Weds and this morning):

Wednesday’s workout has been my tried & true upper body workout for almost a year now. It was pretty much the only strength training I did (1x per week) while training for my half…It gets in some good upper body work, but the better benefit may be the core strengthening that comes from all those planks! If I have time, I also finish up with V-ups and regular ol’ crunches for good measure.

 

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Because I’m not doing Thursday dodgeball this season, I enjoyed an early bedtime last night and a rare 6:30am Friday morning wake up call! I’ve been doing the above workout for so long that I decided to look for a new GPP Fitness workout to switch things up. I did 2 rounds of Cross Sectional, and I did the V-ups, Stab Situps and high windmills from t-AB-ata. My legs are burrrrning from Cross Sectional!

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ANYWAY, I digress. This totally wasn’t meant to be a Fitness post! I just wanted to pop in and share a few things I’ve enjoyed this week, and even a fun HANDWRITTEN quiz that I yanked from Christina at Hungry Meets Healthy. Enjoy!

 

75 Thoughts Every Runner Has While Out For A Run

LOVE. IT. My favorite is the thoughts that go through your head when you jump over puddles. Also, all the thoughts that go on in the last mile of your run.

 

AdvoCare Spark

My Blend-turned-Real-life friend Becky has been pumping up Advocare products for the past few months…I texted her yesterday that I ran out of my beloved pre-workout supplement (fitmixer Clean Energy) and she happened to have just gotten a bunch of variety packs of Spark, AdvoCare’s energy drink mix. I ordered some and can’t wait to try it! I’m not big on supplements, but I do like using a pre-workout drink before my long runs. I’ll be sure to report back on how I like it! If you’re interested, be sure to visit Becky’s blog or click one of the above links to be taken to her store!

 

The 10 Most Important Things We Learned from How I Met Your Mother

As you all probably know, How I Met Your Mother ended this week. Sadface. While I can’t say I’ve watched since the start of the show, I did start watching from the beginning about 4-5 years ago and have been hooked ever since. I love the writing, I love how they’ve kept us guessing about the Mother, and I lovelovelove the characters. I definitely cried multiple times during the series finale, and I have mixed feelings about how it ended, but I largely agree with this article about what went down. {spoiler alert in the article, obviously!}

 

And last but not least… you know those handwritten quizzes they have celebs fill out in Cosmo? Welp, I found one for bloggers! If you’re interested in filling it out, you can print out the blank template here. Enjoy!

SBIZHUBC28014040412060Before you say anything about liking my handwriting, please take note that I toootally spent 5x longer than usual writing out every single word to make sure it was legible. HA.

Have a great weekend!

What do you do to treat your body when you need to detox?

Are/were you a HIMYM fan?

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Treat Yourself Tuesday – Birthday Edition

Today I am again linking up with Becky’s Treat Yourself Tuesday party 🙂

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Treat Yourself Tuesday is all about doing something nice for yourself. Last time I linked up, I talked about how my Saturday routine is my ultimate me-time, and about how I always treat myself to a pedicure after a big race. Today, I’m kind of on a different wavelength. Today I turn 25 years old, and all I can think is:

For the past few months, I have actually been deep in the midst of what I’ve been calling my quarter life crisis. For me, my “crisis” has manifested itself in the form of dissatisfaction with several big aspects of my life.

Some people may be surprised to hear this, as I am generally a pretty happy and positive person. I am often smiling and would like to think I don’t complain much. This is of course not including all of my injuries...I complained quite a bit about both of my casts, as you guys probably noticed 🙂

As I may have mentioned before, I first started this blog in the fall of 2010 as a space to explore my status as a job-seeking post-grad post-recession Millennial who was pissed off that my college experience didn’t spit me out right into the workforce, working my perfect dream job in New York or San Francisco. You can actually see my very first entry in my blog when it was in that form here.

Since then, I have settled for a lot of things. I settled for an internship (which actually ended up being great), which eventually led to me settling for the first job I was offered. I was in a serious relationship for the first time – we were together for nearly 2 years, but looking back I can see that I was unhappy for much of it towards the end. I still live in the city I swore I would never come back to after college.

Soooooo you can see why I consider myself to be having a quarter life crisis.

However…This morning, I woke up early and took a little bit of time to sit on my balcony wearing my favorite over-worn UCSB sweatshirt in the brisk fall air and think about life. (sidenote: WHO AM I?!)

And you know what first came to mind?

My friends are amazing. I can’t believe how much fun we all had at my party. Plus it’s 7:30am and I’ve already gotten 5 birthday texts!

The weather is perfect today. A nice cool morning leading to an 80 degree afternoon (my ideal temperature!).

I love my blends! Who knew starting a blog would lead me to finding such great friends who would become IRL friends too?!

It was really nice to be able to sit and think and really just be happy about so many things. I think my outlook started to turn around in June when I ended my relationship and began to think about how to get myself out of my rut. I decided, maybe selfishly, that I would be putting myself first from now on.

Since then, whenever I come up with a decision to make, or two diverging paths to choose from, I only ask myself one question: what will make me happy? What will get me what I want in life, or where I want to be? No more settling.

I’ve always been a proponent of the idea that you’re in control of your own happiness. For me, I have learned to cultivate happiness in several ways (I think this is where we can tie in the treat yourself theme 🙂 )

– fun with friends

I have gotten so much enjoyment out of being social these past few months. Staying out at the dodgeball bar till close – because why not? – may lead to a not so fun morning, but the memories of fun weekends are often what get me through rough weeks. To know that I’m taking advantage of my youth gives me deep satisfaction.

– fitness

Feeling good about yourself is only partly mental. Exercising about 3 times per week makes me feel good physically and emotionally as well. For the past year, I have been able to look at myself in the mirror and feel good about what I see. That’s something that rarely happened in the first two decades of my life. Plus, I’ve gotta cancel out the aforementioned fun somehow, right? 🙂

– me time

I think self reflection and time alone is also important to your overall well-being. I love my Saturday morning run + farmer’s market routine because it’s something that I can count on every week to lift my spirits. I usually have at least one evening a week alone in my apartment as well, in which I always take my time relaxing and making dinner, usually with some music or a glass of wine. Finding ways to unwind (blogging counts!) is just as important as finding ways to let loose.

– family

Staying in contact with those who have known me the longest is a huge comfort in my life. Whether it be my true family, or friends I’ve known long enough to be family, I value their presence in my life. I listen to their advice, and know they have my best interests at heart.

– do unto others

I know I said that this is about how to make yourself happy, but I believe if you treat others the way that you want to be treated, you will not only be helping them, but reinforcing your own self-respect in the process.

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Sorry to get all hippy dippy emotional on you guys. This is one of my last big birthdays to look forward to, and at such a strange place in my life I found it only necessary to step back and reflect. Hope your weeks are off to a great start! Now if you’d excuse me, I’m going to go treat myself to a banh mi for birthday lunch!!

What things make you truly most happy in life?

Have you experienced a quarter-life crisis?

Friday Faves

Happy Friday!

Since the state legislative session wrapped up last week, things have been pretty quiet ’round the Capitol lately. This has left lots of time for Facebook stalking internet browsing! Check out some things I have been loving lately:

1. Surviving Whole Foods

“The first thing I see is the great wall of kombucha — 42 different kinds of rotten tea. Fun fact: the word kombucha is Japanese for ‘I gizzed in your tea.’ Anyone who’s ever swallowed the glob of mucus at the end of the bottle knows exactly what I’m talking about.”

HAHAHA. I actually have only been to Whole Foods twice ever (blasphemy, I know), but everyone will enjoy this article!

2. Dodgeball

dodgeball

Yes, I am still playing. No, no more broken bones….yet. But my team is 4-1 and we are kickin’ ass!

3. Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines

Yup. I went there. Pretty sure I just heard all of you X out of this window too. Since I don’t drive (and thus listen to the radio), I am the only person on the planet who is not only not sick of this song, but still frickin loves it. Totally inapprop lyrics aside, it just makes me wanna dance!

4. Honest Trailers – Breaking Bad

I actually discovered this last month when watching Breaking Bad with my friends, but I love it so much I actually have gone back and watched it a few times haha. It covers up until the first half of Season 5, so ~spoiler alert~ if you’re not caught up! “Juggalo without the paint” is my new favorite way to describe Jesse Pinkman.

Also, here’s a great article dissecting last week’s AMAZINGLY EPIC episode.

5. Karaoke

I am going with friends tonight….and I am so excited. I karaoke’d solo (and with Richard, as seen above) for the first time in May and have been itching to go back ever since!!

6. iOS 7

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I decided to download iOS 7 on my iPad before taking the plunge on my iPhone. I like it so far! Very visually appealing.

That’s it for now. I’ve got an eventful weekend ahead of me – my birthday is on Tuesday, so there’s some celebrating in my future! And proooobably some anxiety about hitting the quarter century mark 😦 WAAAHHHHH life.

Do you karaoke? What’s your go-to song?

Have you upgraded to iOS 7?

Healthy Living Survey

I’m totally copping out today. I saw this survey a couple of weeks ago on Christina’s blog and thought it looked interesting since all the questions have to do with healthy living! Enjoy.

1. What did you eat for breakfast? overnight oats. Muesli Fusion, almond milk, & chia seeds!

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2. How much water do you drink a day? Probably not enough. On a regular day, I’d say abouuuut 60 oz? I drink more now that it’s hot, and on dodgeball nights (mostly to avoid hangovers the next day)

3. What is your current favorite workout? I like running because it makes me feel really strong and capable.. but since it’s been too hot to run lately, I’m getting into upper body stuff…I LOVE triceps kickbacks! Burns soo good.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks? Definitely mixed nuts. Or anything dipped in hummus.

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6. What do you usually eat for lunch? Usually some kind of veggie and protein mix with a tortilla or side of toast. If I eat out, I get a salad or sandwich.

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train? Arms, abs/obliques

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train? Probably lower body. I figure my legs get enough exercise biking every day and running!

9. What are your “bad” food cravings? Chocolate, wine and cheese. Hands down. I also justify eating too much of things like almond butter and avocado because it’s “healthy”, but the ungodly amounts I eat probably cancel out any health benefits!

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10. Do you take vitamins or supplements? Like Christina, I buy a ton and forget to take them. I have Calcium/Vitamin D, B6 Vitamelts, and a women’s multi vitamin that I actually sometimes take. We got tons of swag at Blend, and of all the products we got I have started taking Fitmixer Clean Energy before workouts, and I have tried Onnit’s New Mood supplement.

11. How often do you eat out? 1-2 times per week tops! I go out for drinks w/o food more often.

12. Do you eat fast food? Pretty much, no. I’ve had Chipotle 3 times since we moved into our apartment that’s 1 block away from one… I do occasionally frequent food trucks 🙂 And In-N-Out on road trips!

13. Who is your biggest supporter? My parents and my best girl friends from high school and college.

14. Do you have a gym membership? Kinda- we get free access to the [pretty low maintenance] gym in my office building!

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cool exposed brick, amiright?

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? 7-8 on weeknights. And if I’m lucky, 9-10 on weekends haha. I really love sleep.

16. Do you have a “cheat” day? No. I cheat every day. <– Word.

17. Do you drink alcohol? Yes. In fact, the only beverages I drink regularly are water, tea, beer and wine. And the occasional whiskey. Is that bad?

18. Do you have a workout buddy? Not really. I have suckered my friend Lisa into working out with me before dodgeball a few times, though 🙂 Who wants to start running at Capitol Park with me??

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle? I feel more confident about my physical appearance, and more confident in general about what I am capable of physically. Life becomes a lot less complicated when you feel good about what you see in the mirror.

20. What was the last healthy thing you did? I worked out on Monday and Tuesday, and I played kickball on Wednesday and dodgeball on Thursday. Even though kickball and dodgeball are usually followed by several beers, I feel like it’s still healthy 😉

Have a great weekend!

Mental Health Day

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Let’s say it’s Friday morning at the end of an emotionally and physically draining week and you’re feeling so crummy you’re contemplating just turning around and heading back home. You call your mom, and she just happens to be driving through your neighborhood and offers to pick you up.

It’s a sign, right?

Sometimes, everything falls into place and you realize you just really need to take a personal day. No work, no blogging, just relaxation. And I guess you could probably be convinced to take a side trip to the church to help Mom with a crafty project, since they’re having a potluck anyway. 🙂

Have a good weekend, everyone, and stay cool if you’re here in triple digit Sacramento.

Friday Faves

Remember my Muesli Protein Bars? They were selected as a finalist in the Muesli Fusion Recipe Contest! Please click here to go to the Facebook Poll and vote for me! All you have to do is click “Muesli Protein Bars — Blonde Ambition Blog”. First place AND runner up get a prize! Today is the LAST DAY to vote!

We made it through another week, y’all! Um, remind me never to try to make “y’all” happen again.

Let’s chalk it up to the fact that I am kind of in a rut. Socially, professionally, in every way possible it seems. There are only two things that I’ve consistently looked forward to these past couple of weeks: the Saturday morning Midtown Farmer’s Market, and my workouts. Food and fitness. Typical.

But otherwise, I am unfortunately in a slump. I feel like this happens every few years for me; I am definitely one to crave change. I chose to go to college in Santa Barbara mainly to get as far away from Sacramento as possible (at the time, the only way to get there was either a 6 hour drive, or via a 2-part flight). Then, because apparently 4 years in one place is too much for me, I spent one year of college dicking around studying abroad.

So you can imagine that now, after three years of living in the same place (with the same job for about half of that time) I’m kind of going stir crazy. Last weekend marked 3 years since graduation, and I’ll be turning 25 in three months. My twenties are almost half over. WTF?

In an effort to combat my case of the grumpies, today I am bringing you some things that I do like. 😉

Midtown Farmer’s Market

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farmersmarket

As mentioned above, I have been l-o-v-i-n-g the Saturday morning farmer’s market. The big year round Sunday Farmer’s Market is a good 20 blocks away from my apartment, which is kind of a long biking distance. Every week during the summer, there are mini farmer’s markets around my office, but they tend to have fewer vendors. The Midtown Farmer’s Market has live music, tons of vendors, is a whopping 5 blocks away from my apartment AND has free bike valet! I can’t wait to go tomorrow, I spotted tomatoes as I biked past yesterday’s market. I hate most tomatoes, but LOVE fresh cherry tomatoes and sometimes even homegrown regular ones too.

Pre-Planned Workouts

I have been trying to incorporate more strength training into my workouts, and workouts like this are perfect! I did this workout on Wednesday and my triceps are still super sore. I also have an iPad subscription to Women’s Health magazine, which has a lot of 15-minute workouts that I’ve been trying out. I did this body weight workout last week, but was  little leery of doing an L stand without someone to spot me. Also, ab roll ups are like the burpee’s annoying cousin.

Running

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I ran my furthest run ever last week, 3.4 miles! I have also been toying with the idea of running a 10K in late August or early September. Somehow, training 4 days per week in the Sacramento heat doesn’t sound desirable (or safe) though. I have upped my “minimum” distance to about 2.75 miles, so I am at least somewhat on track for the training in case I do decide to go for it. The training schedule I found shows 2.5-3 mile runs during the week (eventually increasing to 3-3.5 miles), and long runs on Saturdays.

Really Good Food

chicken & grilled veggies with fresh corn!

banhmi

spicy pork Banh Mi from Gogi’s Korean BBQ

cinnabuns

“semi homemade” cinnamon buns. made from an Auntie Annes kit which included yeast, flour, cinnamon sugar, and premade icing.

taco

meatless monday taco! with summer squash, yellow carrots, bell peppers and black beans. also, SRIRACHA.

I have been eating pretty frickin well lately.

Where do you get your workout ideas?

Change: Love it or hate it?

Friday Faves

Happy Friday! Here’s some things I’m lovin’ today. A bit delayed in posting, because of Favorite Thing #1…..

1) Windows 7.

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My firm is finally making the switch from Windows XP to Windows 7 (which I learned how to use at my previous job, and currently use on my Office programs at home…),  and I got trained in how to use it all over again this morning. I don’t mind though, because XP is not the business.

2) Convention!

convention

It starts TODAY! So many events going on tonight…See the “Progressive Era Hosted Welcome Party”? A few girls and I have been planning it for the last couple of months. Pretty much right after I finish this post, I am going to get a move on and start buying all the desserts for our ~fancy~ dessert bar!

3) This video: How Animals Eat Their Food

4) On a similar note, this video: Cat-Friend vs. Dog-Friend

Hahahaha. One of my new favorites.

5) My new party dress!

I am not normally the most fashionable lady around, but I’m pretty proud of the outfit I put together for tonight. I finally found a hi-low dress that I love, and scored big time with these $8 wedges I spotted at Goodwill: