Circle of Fun

I am happy to report that I got a full night’s sleep last night. Those of you who have been reading my posts know how happy this made me. I’ve been world’s sleepiest girl in DC lately and it was so nice to finally fall asleep at a reasonably hour and sleep through the night. Of course I was still tired when I woke up at 6am- but my body felt so much better.

Why was I up at 6am on my day off? Bootcamp class. No rest for the weary determined!

At the morning bootcamp classes the instructor writes the warmup and workout up on the chalk board. Today he was a real funny guy:

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Because the class was full of people who are bootcamp regulars, he left us up to our own devices to warmup. I cracked up when I saw the board. After ten minutes of stair runs, stretches, and some outdoor runs around the block- he had us work on some jumps.

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He marked on the chalk floor where he thought was an “eh” jump (he literally wrote “eh” on the floor to remind us) and what was a good jump distance (the line just above “eh”).

Now the workout… you might be wondering what a circle of fun is. We were told to grab a pair of the heaviest weights we could carry down by our sides. Then we all marched around in a circle carrying the weights until we essentially couldn’t carry them anymore. I wish I could have taken a picture of this. Other people at the gym definitely enjoyed watching us do this. Once everyone put down their weights because they couldn’t take any more, we ran around the block. This was completed four times.

I like workouts like this because I feel like they’re actually working my body in functional ways that it needs to know how to do well. My friend Nick and I (he was taking the class with me) were talking about how carrying the heavy weights around the circle was like the equivalent of carrying our groceries. Living in the city, we both walk a lot- including to and from the grocery store.

Also, I feel like running short block-like distances are more common in everyday life (over say- running 4 miles just for the hell of it). Bootcamp classes definitely prepare you for the real world more than a lot of classes or workouts would.

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Getting Pumped for Christmas

After a series of bad days, I woke up yesterday in a really good mood. I didn’t get much sleep and nothing was all that different but for some reason I felt okay with the world. I’ll take it. Before continuing this post, I have to give a shout out to a lovely lady named Angie!

This would be one of my three younger sisters and it was her birthday yesterday! She turned FIFTEEN. Someone needs to stop getting older or I’m going to cry.

This is a picture of us from over the summer. I miss her terribly but lucky for me, I go home for Christmas in three weeks!

I bought her The Perks of Being a Wallflower and she opened it on the phone with me. I saw the movie a couple weeks back and never read the book growing up. Angie and I have very similar tastes in books and entertainment and I had this hunch she would not only like the movie, but enjoy the book. So I ordered a copy for me and one for her so we can read them simultaneously (it’s a small way to feel closer when we’re so far away).

Anyways, when I got to work I felt energized and ready to be wicked productive. Maybe it was the delicious pumpkin oatmeal I had for breakfast… oatmeal on cold mornings is always perfect. And even though I was already in a cheerful mood at work, my mood got better because they put up the holiday decorations yesterday!

I’ve decorated this tree before as an intern! So fun.

My work really is a pretty place!

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Life Not So Picture Perfect

I try and give you guys a good and honest picture of what my life is like through my blog. But I will admit, everything you read is relatively positive because, well, I like to try and be positive. Showing you all the good in my life is my way of documenting the good for myself and reminding me of all the positives in my days. It’s really easy for me to get down in the dumps and to be hard on myself so having an outlet (this blog) to share all the good helps me to keep smiling.

But I am aware that my life presented to you in ribbons and strings might make some of you believe that my life is perfect and flawless in some way. Heads up: it’s not at all.

The reason why this post is coming atcha is because today, I am guilty of blogger envy. Whenever I feel off track with healthy eating and exercise or my routine in general, I gravitate toward the blogger world and kind of obsess over the various lives I follow. Then I proceed to think things like, “if she can do that, why can’t you,” or “you need to be better- you need to be more like that.” I continue this cycle of jealousy, frustration, and anger for an hour or so until I can’t take it anymore. I know its bad and totally unhealthy but it happens (and it makes me feel like crap).

SO I just want to put this out there- please don’t compare your life to mine or think that if you could only just live the way I do, eat the way I do, move the way I do, etc. that all your problems will go away. First of all- I have so many problems of my own and things don’t always run so smooth in my world. Second, while I love being a source of inspiration for people- you should use my words and life only as just that- inspiration. Use what I say and do as a base, as somewhere to start, or as things to try and see if they work for you.

I don’t want my blog to be the source of any body image negativity for any of my followers. The thought makes me sad. Everyone is different and the grass is always greener. Jealousy sucks- so join me on my never ending quest to love thyself. Do what’s best for YOU, take one day at a time, don’t assume everyone else is happy/perfect, and make decisions that will make YOU and your body happy.

Alright. Now that I got all that out of my system, I bring you Christmas joy and cheer!

This is the lobby to my apartment building. It’s the building’s way of saying, hey, Allison- smile- it’s the month before Christmas!

As part of my trying not stress and doing things that make me happy plan, I opted out of going to spin yesterday to instead try ice skating for the first time with my friend Nick.

I didn’t take any pictures, but here is a picture of what the rink is like during the day time. It’s at the National Gallery of Art downtown.

Guys. I have no idea how to ice skate. Literally no clue. Thank God Nick was there to help me- he’s a pro. I barely knew how to put on my skates.

In a terrified manner I walked onto the ice and tried to move. I WAS SO SCARED TO FALL. After a couple laps around holding on to the side railing for dear life and moving at a snail’s pace (and listening to advice from Nick)- I did get better! I wouldn’t call what I was doing skating per se… but I was moving forward slightly without using anything but my body to balance myself. So there’s that.

Here’s another picture of the rink I found. We went at night so it did look more like this- just add some people and music.

Being the perfectionist I am, all I wanted to do was to be able to skate fast and know what I was doing on the ice. I had to keep reminding myself- you have to start somewhere. The whole time I probably looked unhappy but I wasn’t at all. I was just determined to learn this new skill. Unfortunately my feet don’t last long out in the cold and I couldn’t practice as much as I wanted to BUT I am making a promise to myself to keep trying ice skating and potentially be able to skate skate skate 🙂

It was such a weird feeling to do something so outside of what my body is used to doing. I’m still not sure if my brain understand the concept of how you’re supposed to skate forward (I felt like an idiot most of the time I spent on the rink). My legs and feet didn’t know what was going on. I’m hoping next time I go that it will be a) warmer and b) more natural feeling out on the ice.

When I got home- I was exhausted. Apparently I was more tired than I thought because I slept through my alarm for work this morning and was two hours late. Thank God my boss is understanding. He was more so worried something had happened to me.

After a day of feeling slightly off, I made sure I went to the gym. I knew I would benefit from some movement. Though to be completely honest- all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and watch a movie. Instead I tried a new thing at the gym- ZUMBA.

I think it’s crazy I haven’t tried this yet. It’s probably because I know I’m the worst dancer. Every girl says that. I mean it. Seeing myself dance in the mirror is almost cringe worthy <<shudder>> But I decided that pushing myself outside my comfort zone is a good thing. And looking like a fool in front of other people might help me not be so uptight. So Zumba happened.

I felt slightly awkward in my own skin but overall it was a good experience. Not as much of a workout as I would have liked- but hey- dancing around was a better decision that staying home and doing nothing. I found myself smiling a lot and feeling really positive/upbeat (which I reallllllly needed). Mission accomplished.

PLUS the best part about me going was finally getting to meet Sara, the author of the blog Magia e Pasta! We’ve been talking online through twitter and our blogs (she found me because we go to the same gym!) and she just so happened to be in zumba tonight! I creepily realized this as we were dancing during class so I introduced myself when the class was over. Hooray for in person friendships!

If only.

We laughed because although we had never met, we knew so much about each others lives because of our blogs. I really did feel like I was meeting someone I was already friends with- so bizarre. She assured me that not all the zumba classes are as chill as that one. She tells me there is another instructor who totally kicks your butt. Perhaps I will tread those waters some day.

Sara and I are both going to body pump tomorrow night. Suh-weet! Having a buddy around or two at the gym can really help hold you accountable for showing up to workouts you planned. Plus, they make life more fun 🙂

Anyway. I’m so overtired. You would think me sleeping in accidentally today would mean a more well rested Allison. Nope. I am wiped out. I should probably take what happened this morning as a hint to go to bed early tonight.

And with that, I bid you all adieu. 

Keep smiling and keep trying new things xoxo

Sunday?

Brrrrrr it’s bone chilling-ly cold in DC today. I wanted to run bright and early this morning but there were two problems with that plan: 1) it was not bright at 7am and the sky was covered with clouds and 2) I have a lack of cold weather running apparel and knew I wouldn’t be able to make it through a run. Instead I snuggled up to a warm breakfast and waited till mid-morning to run.

Despite the crazy black friday sales and madness, I didn’t do that much shopping this weekend. I bought a few things but wasn’t feeling very inspired. I prefer to get people smaller, meaningful gifts that I spend a lot of time on so I refrained from buying the more generic stuff that was being pushed in all the stores this weekend.

ALTHOUGH I did buy myself socks. Wool socks that is! After some research into what will keep my feet warmest while running, I came across SmartWool. Wool apparently does a good job at keeping your feet warm, but more importantly- dry. Cotton socks tend to make your feet sweat, get wet, and then freeze out in the cold… not good.

I’ve wanted to get some for a while but they’re kind of pricey. I determined this weekend that it was a worthwhile investment. I cannot even begin to explain to you how cold my lil toes get! So I was excited to give these a try today and see if they helped at all.

It was about forty degrees when I went out to run (plus wind) and my toes didn’t get cold! I mean, they were a little chilly at first but throughout my three mile run they were great! Yay! They are soft and warm and don’t slip around in my sneakers. We’ll see how they hold up.

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Leftovers, Family, and Christmas

Here is another quick weekend post from my life 🙂

Thanksgiving might be over but with the amount of leftovers in our fridge- you would have no idea. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying sweet potatoes, green beans, mushrooms, cranberry sauce, and turkey all mixed together with kale. Such a quality leftover salad!

To use up some stuffing yesterday morning, I fried an egg and served it over a 1/2 cup serving of stuffing! If you have some leftovers lurking around- I suggest you try it! Delish.

The number one leftover hanging around though is the PIE! We have over a half of it left. I am impressed with the restraint I am showing with that pie. I have been eating small slices and being very careful not to get to crazy with it (sweets are a major trigger food for me and going from zero to WAY TOO MUCH is ridiculously easy for me to do). I might try and incorporate it into some oatmeal for breakfast- thoughts?

Tip: Incorporate leftovers into a more filling and healthy meal- that way you get all the flavors of the leftovers (and get to satisfy your craving), but also the nutrients and fullness factor from the other food you combine it with.

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Thanksgiving 2012

I’m going to keep this post short, sweet, and full of pictures because I don’t have much time (I gotta get out and enjoy the weekend, time with will, and time with his parents! maybe a little shopping too he he).

I don’t think I need to go into all the things I’m thankful for because in all honesty- there’s a lot. I feel really lucky to be where I am today and to have the people in my life that I do. My family and friends are the absolute best. I have a quality job that I enjoy with great coworkers. My apartment makes me a very happy girl. I get to share my life and experiences through my blog and people actually care. I could go on and on and on- but I shall refrain. I am grateful for my life, the people in it, and all the love I feel everyday.

Okay. Here is a photo summary of my first ever Thanksgiving in my apartment- with Will- and cooking everything (with the help of my partner in crime).

If you want a refresher of what we were cooking, check out this post.

I promise I’ll elaborate more on how the day went when I have more time.

[Insert all the pictures of the New England Patriots kicking Jets butt last night. Like seriously- that game was amazing and made me laugh so hard. I love Patriots football. Such a good game to end a wonderful day. Jets are a straight up mess]

And now…

You know what time it is?

My apartment is about to make a transition in terms of decor…

IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME! I didn’t waste a second busting this out.

Hope you all had lovely Thanksgivings and aren’t losing your minds with Black Friday madness today xoxo

New and Old Traditions

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Wahoo! I am happily posting this entry being done with work for  the long weekend and beyond ready for tomorrow.

Today we were lucky enough to get out wicked early from work and I headed off to the gym. For some low impact cardio I hit up the elliptical for a 1/2 hour workout by Tina followed by a circuit of squats, situps, bicycle crunches, in and outs, and pushups for 50 reps each, then 40 reps each, then 30, 20, and 10. Hell of a workout. Pushups will be the death of me I swear. (If you’re looking for more ways to move, check out this  post from Tina providing some Thanksgiving workouts).

Post workout, I couldn’t stop smiling. Work done, exercise endorphins kicking, back not hurting too much, and ready to get into Thanksgiving full swing!

Even though I’m spending Thanksgiving away from my “biological” family in Massachusetts (which is not easy- trust me), I am very happy to be spending Thanksgiving this year with people I also consider to be family- Will and his parents! And you know what, DC has become my home too. I feel really lucky to have two amazing places to call home and so much family love. Thankful indeed.

It’ll be weird not going through the usual traditions that I do when I’m in the place where cranberries come from. BUT I realized I’ll just be blending my traditions with new ones this year. Here is a list of my tried and true Thanksgiving Day activities (besides eating)

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