Friday, August 17, 2012

Catching Up

Happy Friday readers!!  This week seemed to fly by for me which this summer has been an unusual thing to happen.  It's been over a week since my last blog post but Wednesday through Sunday I was in the land of minimal cell phone reception, no WiFi, and honestly hanging out with friends, enjoying some beverages, and seeing country music artists perform took more importance over updating my blog.  I had a blast with Chelsea and some other friends that I met up with there.  I took hardly any pictures so doing a recap would be kind of boring so I'll skip that and just let you know I had a blast.

Thanks to the craziness that was last week this week has been catch up for me.  I'm still not on a great sleep schedule.  Sunday through Tuesday every night I was waking up between 2 and 3 am which is not a normal thing for me.  I guess my body adjusted to the late night bed times and was trying to tell me I was trying to sleep too early?  I've been able to make it to work on time this week though so I'd say I'm handling it pretty well.

Oh!  I just remembered that I took my business law final (online summer course that started July 16th) on Wednesday last week and found out Friday night (I think?) that I got an A- in the class!!!  Now the only thing left to do to finish up my summer semester is prepare and present my internship presentation on either the 20th or 21st of September.  It has to be 10 minutes long which is a bit daunting to me because I'm not a great public speaker.  I haven't begun working on it yet so I need to really get the ball rolling on that one if I want to prepare it ahead of time and be able to practice it and get the timing right on it.

The only thing I'm bummed about because of not blogging since last Tuesday is that I missed two Weight Loss Wednesday posts that I was supposed to do.  It's a double edged sword with that one.  I haven't been focusing on weight loss at all, like haven't even stepped on a scale in I don't know how long, so what would I really be able to post about anyways?  But at the same time I committed to posting about it once a week (that's not that hard) and now I haven't followed through.  There's always next week though!

So that's a quick recap of what's been going on with me in the last week and a half.

Tonight I'm going out to dinner with my parents, another couple, our neighbor, and another woman so I won't be home much.  I WILL be getting laundry started though as I haven't done that since the weekend before last so I'm running out of clean clothes to wear which is not a good thing.  Tomorrow I need to set up for Chelsea's bridal shower, attend the shower, and then the bachelorette party later that evening which we are doing a wine tasting, dinner, and then drinks.  I bought a dress yesterday for the day so I will be sure to post pictures once I'm all done up and ready for the day.  Sunday my mom is hosting a Miche bag party so I will have that to go to in the early afternoon but other than that Sunday is my relaxed day.  It will feel good to finally sit still and get caught up on everything (laundry, blogging, etc...)

I hope everyone has been having a great week!  Hope to see you leave some comments now that I'm getting back into the swing of things.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Thanks Laurie at Love, Laugh, Laurie for nominating me for the Liebster Award.
Thanks Laurie!!  The rules are simple:  Tell 11 facts about yourself, answer the questions posed by person who nominated you, make up 11 questions of your own, and nominate 11 people.

11 Facts:

1. I am a bridesmaid in my best friend Chelsea's upcoming wedding on September 30th.  We are wearing brown "slouchy" cowboy boots with short red dresses.
2. September 14th through the 17th I will be in Joliet, IL at Chicagoland Speedway for my 4th NASCAR race where I will be able to meet my favorite driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. (!!!)
3. I was a member of 4-H and showed dairy cattle at the Wisconsin Valley Fair for 4 years.
4. I drink raw cow's milk 99% of the time.  Rarely will I drink milk from a store.
5. I needed to have a baby tooth pulled when I was 18 in order to have an implant put in because I lacked an adult tooth.  I also do not have wisdom teeth, or my bottom 12-year-old molars.
6.  I am completing a summer internship for 3 credits that will allow me to graduate in December of 2012 (4 months!!).
7.  I played softball from 2004 until 2009 (I think).  I ended my high school softball career as the starting varsity pitcher.
8.  I am an animal lover.  I am both a dog and cat person as well as other furry animals.
9.  I got to look at puppies on my 21st birthday (2011).  It was also the day that we picked Bo out from a litter of 9.
10.  I absolutely love my Kindle that I received as a birthday gift from my parents for my 21st birthday.  I have over 100 items in my "read" folder since receiving it just over a year ago.  I love to read period though so I still read actual books in addition to what I download to my Kindle.
11.  This was hard for me to do!  I want the facts to be interesting but struggle to come up with what I think people would find interesting.  Maybe I need to do some more reflecting on myself so the next time I need to come up with facts about myself it won't be so hard to do?

Laurie's questions to me:
1. What is your favorite Olympic event to watch? I enjoy watching gymnastics and swimming.  Prior to this year's summer Olympics I LOVED to watch softball but as many of you know they removed softball from the summer Olympics.  Don't even get me started on the "sports" that are part of the Olympics instead of softball.
2. What event would you participate in if you had unlimited talent?  If softball were still an option I would definitely want to be a Team USA softball team member.  Of the current events I think I would participate in gymnastics, swimming, or diving.
3. What is your favorite quote?   I have two favorite quotes.  "Don't be afraid to go after what you want to do, and what you want to be.  But don't be afraid to be willing to pay the price." ~ Lane Frost (10/12/63 - 7/30/89) and "You've got to really want it all the way to the end... If you runt oo hard you lose interest or you lose focus and you've had enough before it's over.  You've got to pace yourself so that the entire season is just as important from start to finish." ~ Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. What is your favorite way to work out?  With someone!  Chelsea and I were working out regularly together during the Spring semester.  It was great to have someone to hold me accountable to getting to the gym and someone to talk to while working out.
5. Have you seen The Dark Knight Rises, and is it not the best movie ever?  <– I really want to know if you feel this way  I have not seen the movie.  Fun fact though, Dale Jr. won his first race in 4 years with a paint scheme with The Dark Knight Rises on his car.
6. Best movie you’ve seen recently?  This Means War is at the top of my list.  It has some great lines in it and it was enjoyable beginning to end.
7. What is your favorite memory?  I have a few but I'm going to go with helping my softball team in high school win its first game in over 2 years by hitting a triple but being awarded home plate because the opposing team threw the ball into the 3rd base line dugout.
8. What are you currently reading?  Pretty Little Liars, book #1 in the series.  The ABC Family show is based on the books by Sara Shepard.
9. If you are married, what were your wedding colors, and if you aren’t — what colors do you think they will be?  I imagine my wedding colors would include red as it is my favorite color.  Possibly other fall colors.  Haven't really thought much about it.
10. Favorite movie trilogy?  Honestly, I don't think I have a favorite movie trilogy.  I can't seem to think of any movies I've seen that are a trilogy.  Is that bad?  I am looking forward to the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy being made into movies even though I was kind of disappointed with the ending of the books.
11. Favorite beverage?  Mountain Dew - it's a tough habit to kick!  If we're talking alcoholic beverages I would say Cherry Dr. + Mountain Dew, aka Dr. Dew.
11 Questions for the Nominees:
1. Favorite food?
2. How long have you been blogging?
3. Favorite hobby?
4. What is one book that you would recommend someone to read right now?
5. Right or left handed?
6. Favorite place?
7. One place you would like to visit in your lifetime?
8. Biggest pet peeve?
9. Favorite month and why?
10. Current favorite movie?
11.  Current favorite song?
Now, I nominate:
Becca @ I Heart Eggs
Hollie @ Fueled by Lolz
Tessa @ Amazing Asset
Alyssa @ Life of Blyss

Rather than forcing another 3 nominees out I'm just going to stop at 8.  I would rather have 8 good ones than 8 good ones and 3 not so good ones (because I don't follow their blogs regularly).

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend Recap - Part 2

Happy Monday morning readers!  Is there such a thing as a happy Monday morning??  Guess it depends on what you have going on for the day and how you look at things.  Today I'm going to finish off my weekend recap with what I did yesterday.  This post has pictures so hopefully it won't be as boring to read!

I woke up at 8am but stayed in bed watching NCIS season 4 until 9am, enjoying a lazy Sunday morning.  Muffins were on the table by that time so I ate (alone because everyone else ate earlier) then spent some time with Bo before jumping in the shower.  My parents and I went to Green Bay to eat at Red Lobster (soooo good!!), and do a little shopping.

Our first stop after lunch was Lambeau Field to look around in the Packers Pro Shop.  I finally for the first time in years have a piece of Packers clothing that is my own!  Thanks mom :)  It's a long sleeved, but light, t shirt with a hood.  I can't wait to wear it so hopefully it cools off soon!

I was in the market for some shoes I could wear on an every day basis so I can keep the shoes I use to work out in nice so DSW was our next stop.  My old fitness/everyday shoes are pretty beat up so I was happy to find some shoes in a women's size that fit and I liked.  Having big feet is a challenge when it comes to finding shoes that look good on them.

I also had a $10 off coupon for American Eagle but was disappointed when I didn't find anything I liked, especially because the jeans were on sale.  I have until the end of September to use the coupon so I might look online to see what I can find.

We hit up Yankee Candle even though the store in our own mall is bigger than this one.  I bought myself a candle in my favorite scent, Pumpkin Buttercream.  We had fun smelling the "man scents" and making my dad smell them.  He's not into candles like I am but he was a good sport and went along with it.  It was actually amazing how much some of the stuff smelled like what it was named after; 2x4, mowed grass, etc.

Once we walked around the mall and didn't find any other stores to go into we jumped in the car to do a little driving around.  We ended up finding a Dairy Queen and stopped for ice cream.  I had the blizzard of the month, M&Ms Brownie.  It was good but I couldn't finish it all.  Those brownie pieces filled me up more than my usual cookie dough does.

Our last stop was Wal-Mart.  Great place to go while you're out of town when you have one where you live, right?  We needed new shower liners and as I was getting ready in the morning I had found a $40 gift card from my boss at work from Christmas that I hadn't used yet.  I went in hoping to find Gossip Girl season 4 on DVD but sadly they didn't have any of the Gossip Girl seasons.  I walked out with just some Post-it stickies.  Thanks again mom!

After getting home I fired up the laptop to look online for Gossip Girl season 4.  I found it for only $14.95!  I ordered it along with books #8 and #9 in the Pretty Little Liars series, all for less than $40 so my gift card covered everything.  Successful online shopping makes me happy.

Because I ordered books #8 and #9 in the series I started reading Pretty Little Liars (#1) after dinner.  I've read books #1 through #6 once already but it's been a while so I wanted to get them all fresh in my mind again and try to read them back to back.  I own book #7 but have not read it yet.  Chelsea has been borrowing the books and powering through them and is almost to book #7 so finding the gift card for Wal-Mart came at the right time for me to order the next two books.  There are 12 books total in the series.

Reading before bed has always been something I enjoy doing but NCIS was calling to me so I ended the night with Gibbs, Tony, Zeva, McGee, and Abby instead of more reading.  Maybe not the smartest move considering NCIS can be action packed and make you think but oh well you only live once, right? :)

Questions for you...
Ever read books that a TV series is based on, like Pretty Little Liars?

Do you ever buy TV series on DVD?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekend Recap - Part 1

Weekends always seem to fly by, especially during the summer when there is so much going on.  I hope everyone had a great weekend like I did.

Friday after work I hung out with my BFF Chelsea.  We went to the Wisconsin Valley Fair to see Rodney Atkins perform (sorry no pictures).  It was a good show, but not the best I have ever seen.  After the show we walked to the other end of the midway so I could get the best cheese curds at the fair.  They lived up to the expectations I held for them from last year so all is good in the world.  By the time Chelsea and I walked back to the other end of the midway she and I decided we needed monkey tails as well.  I go for simple and just have mine dipped in chocolate.  Chelsea gets a little crazy and gets crunch put on as well.  We called it a night at the fair pretty early since we had an early morning coming up.

In order to sleep longer I spent the night at Chelsea's.  5am came around really quick and it was tough to get moving as it was but had I stayed at my own house I would have needed to be up even earlier to factor in the drive time (30 minutes) to Chelsea's from my place.  

Chelsea works at the YMCA here in town so she of course volunteered to help out at the triathlon that the YMCA puts on every year.  Being Chelsea's BFF I get roped into volunteering as well.  We had to be at the site by 5:30am to be ready to body mark.  It's not such a bad job to write on people with huge Sharpie markers (especially the good looking men hehe...).  I have done body marking once before with Chelsea for a duathlon (spelling? spell check and the internet don't have suggestions for this) but this was a whole new ball game.  So many more participants means so many more ups and downs.  Both arms and both legs of the participants need to be marked.  Needless to say my quads (I think...) are S.O.R.E!

Once our body marking duties were completed we got to relax in our lawn chairs under the announcer's tent.  Our next job was to help find the participants' numbers on the sheets for the announcer.  At first we would call out the participants as they went out on the run course (after completing the swim and bike parts) but eventually we had to focus on just those coming in to finish in front of us.  I don't know the times of any of the finishes but it was still amazing to me to see these people complete the triathlon.

The volunteers and participants got a free lunch of subs, chips, fruit, and a soda or water.  After mowing that down eating lunch Chelsea and I headed back to her house where we slept pretty much all afternoon.  I could not imagine being a participant when getting up early and simply body marking and standing by a table under a tent wore me out so much.  After a few hours of napping I headed home to chill with the family.

I'll finish up my weekend recap with what went on today (Sunday) tomorrow because this post is already getting pretty long.

Question for you...
Have you ever volunteered to help with an event like a triathlon or road race?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tools in my Belt

Even though I didn't get a post up yesterday I still did something.  Be sure to check out my About Amy page.  It may need a few tweaks here and there once I have a chance to sit down at home and work on it but for the most part it's good to go.

Wednesday when I did my first ever Weight Loss Wednesday post I mentioned the awesome online weight loss community Sparkpeople.  I wanted to take some time today to tell you a little bit more about why it's awesome.

First, it's free.  Yea, that's right FREE!  It doesn't get much better than that.

Next on the reasons why Sparkpeople is awesome would have to be the support.  If you are looking for support and become active on a team or by just reaching out to members you will find it here!  I've made two friends that I would now consider "real life" friends even though we have never met yet.  We support each other on more than just weight loss now but everything.  I am so grateful to Spark for bringing these two lovely ladies into my life.  One of them being Lex!

Another reason Sparkpeople is awesome is the trackers for both food and activity.  When you sign up for Spark you answers some questions which help generate your nutrition ranges (calories, protein, carbs, etc.).  Tracking your nutrition and activity can help find flaws in what you're doing that is hurting your progress instead of helping.  It also helps when you can really see the minutes you spend on fitness.  There are many benefits to tracking so when Spark makes it so easy to do it's a definite plus.

Not only does Spark offer a community to reach out to for support and the trackers but it has a wealth of articles so you can educate yourself!  Some topics are learning what to look for on nutrition lables, how to make goals, and explanations on what something is (like Pilates, Yoga, etc).  Educating yourself about how to lead a healthier lifestyle will help you make those changes that will last you a lifetime.

I highly suggest checking Sparkpeople out.  If you check it out and decide to join but then after using it for a while decide it's not for you then it's no sweat off your back as it was free to sign up and it's easy to deactivate your account.  You can always come back to it too because IT'S FREE!  Can you tell how impressed I am that Spark is free?

Spark is just one of the tools in my belt to help me along my weight loss journey.  I cannot say enough good things about it, obviously.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday

My friend Alexis who is the author of Life by Lexis started a weekly themed blog post Weight Loss Wednesday.  I'm sure her intention wasn't for bloggers to jump on the wagon and link up their own Weight Loss Wednesday posts to her blog but that's exactly what I am going to do!

Like Lex, I have a wedding coming up on September 30th which I was asked to stand up as a bridesmaid for my best friend Chelsea.  I joined my local YMCA in January to try and slim down for the wedding.  I was working out regularly until summer hit and I started making excuses for why I couldn't go to the gym.  I didn't make up for not going to the gym by being active at home.  Little to no activity coupled with reverting back to my old eating habits (whatever I want, whenever I want, and however much I want) led me to more than likely putting the few (5) pounds I had lost back on.  I say more than likely because I haven't been on the scale for a few weeks now because I was afraid of the number I would see.

It saddens me to think that had I stuck with the workouts and eating better since January I could be at or very close to my goal weight and feeling much more confident about myself and my body.  But I can't change the past so I am just going to focus on what I can do from here on out.  It's a new month and a new day so I am going to start TODAY!

Lex and I actually "met" online through the weight loss community which is an awesome place for support, and tools to help you succeed with weight loss.  I'll post more about this awesome website another time but if you're a member of the site already or join and want to be friends my user name is COUNTRYSTRONG21.

Starting today, Wednesday August 1st, I am going to commit myself to posting a weekly Weight Loss Wednesday post for the next eight weeks, maybe nine as Chelsea's wedding is on the Sunday following what will be the eighth post.

I am going to follow the same format Lex is using which looks like this...

Start Date: 8/1/2012
Today’s Date: 8/1/2012
Weight lost: 0 lbs

Week Successes: Coming to the realization that I need to let my brain catch up to my stomach instead of shoveling more food than I really need into my mouth.

Week Struggles: Fair food!  The Wisconsin Valley Fair is going on July 31st through August 5th and you know that means lots of deep fried goodness food.

Lessons Learned: Slow down when eating!

Goals for Next Week: Track everything I eat and do for activity using Spark.

Be sure to check out Lex's Weight Loss Wednesday post from today!

I promise not all Weight Loss Wednesday posts will be so long but I wanted to give you a little background to why I'm doing this.

My Third First Post

This is my third attempt at carving out my own little place in the blogging world.  I started with a Wordpress site but was finding it difficult to customize my blog the way I really wanted to (without getting super technical and over my head) so I moved to Blogger.  A little backwards from how most people do it since they usually move from Blogger, or other blogging platforms, to Wordpress but that's fine with me since I don't want to do everything just like everyone else.  When I made that switch I imported my Wordpress posts to Blogger.  Not that I don't want to keep those posts from Wordpress, and my previous Blogger site but I feel like I needed a fresh start in the blogging world.  Those old posts feel like they were weighing my blog down with things that weren't jiving with how I want to approach blogging, or what I want to blog about lately.

So, here I am starting over on a fresh blog to make it what I want it to be and hopefully something I enjoy and stick with!  Being that the site is new give me some time to edit the page and really make it my own.  I hope you stick around to read more!