Sep 30, 2013

5 tips for staying healthy while traveling

i'm back!

dallas was nice

but i am so glad to be back home!

i feel all sorts of out of the loop

so behind on my blog reading

super behind on my sleep and sleep schedule

and i don't even want to talk about my messed up potty schedule.

i left off on friday when i had managed to get up and accidentally run 5 miles (instead of 4)

and on saturday evening i totally rocked out 8-10 miles.  i say 8-10 miles because my run keeper went a little crazy and i'm not exactly sure how far i went.

runkeeper actually said i completed 11 miles.

based on my time i think i did closer to 8.5 miles

based on google maps and the length of the trail i did 9.5


the point is i got some quality running in

on a gorgeous paved trail at white rock lake

even though it was completely overcast and the sun was setting quickly.

i wanted to stop and take pictures of the beautiful views

but i was also trying to outrun the setting sun

it was so nice to be able to run a completely flat distance.

i'm always mowing down hills at home which makes me feel so slow

it was nice to have some miles under 10 minutes on this run - which really helped boost my ego.


i thought it would be fun to share some tips and tricks to sticking to healthy living while on business trips or vaction

i usually only travel once or twice a year for business - but typically it's for 3 or 4 nights

if it was only a night or two i probably wouldn't worry as much with sticking with my normal routine

but  taking almost a week off isn't acceptable if you're serious about training for an event or maintaining a healthy diet (eating out for a whole week can really set you back - especially when you try to regain normalcy again)

tip #1

go grocery shopping!  if you're on business, most hotel rooms will have a mini fridge - so use it!  if you're on vacation you could also save yourself some $'s by eating a meal in the room/condo once a day

pick up fresh fruit which will curb a sweet tooth or make a quick snack

i love to try new restaurants, but i cannot eat every meal out either

these little packets of peanut butter with a big apple is plenty for lunch

tip #2

plan on working out - whether you run, walk, lift - make sure you've got everything with you so you can't make an excuse not to!

obviously you can't pack heavy weights or your bike

but you can make sure you have proper clothes, shoes, headphones etc for working out in the hotel gym

tip #3

check with the hotel staff/co-workers/google to make sure you're in a safe area of town for running and/or seek out fun new running/walking spots

if you have to travel for work, at least you may get to see new parts of the country, and if your schedule affords you the time - check out local parks - which sure as hell beats a hotel gym

tip #4

don't forget to fuel properly!  i know i was drinking a lot more soda and eating way different foods than i was used to, so my water intake wasn't the best

but i made sure i had some options before and after my runs

tip #5

at the end of the day, you're away from home and family which can be a real bummer

i tried to stay positive and know that i would be home soon

i also was really proud of myself for sticking to my running schedule

so i think that deserves a treat!

since changing my eating habits, i can't go out and have several drinks or eat a big meal, even if it's on the company dime

but small indulgences are perfectly fine

if you keep your splurges small you'll feel less like a bloated blimp once arriving back home - and getting back in a regular routine will feel seamless.

Sep 27, 2013

rachel does dallas?

i'm in dallas!  whoop!

yesterday was spent in airports and on planes

and thanks to copious amounts of caffeine

i was ready to hit the ground running when i got here

or you in style in a big ass mini van

where we were told "hot bitches be driving mini vans now!"

i've always hated on a mini van

but let me tell you

i think i'm in love

bill - let's trade in the edge for a town and country!


we're in dallas for one of our plant's physical inventories

my boss and i travel really well together - we're both like minded

like...we both really like grocery shopping

mainly because we both try to stay healthy and we've learned to head to the grocery store once we get into town to pick up all our snacks

and this was like the coolest grocery store ever! 

dallas area - i'm totally jealous of your central market grocers!

aisles and aisles of  the freshest looking meats and produce

why yes, i did take pictures of the grocery store.

and my idea of seeing the city is going to the grocery.


i picked up several goodies - which was super important since i plan on getting two training runs in!

annnnnd i totally killed my 4 miles this morning...and by killed, i mean i accidentally did 5

i suited up at 5:15 am - fanny pack and all - and headed out

annnnnd it was pitch black out - sidewalks everywhere - but next to zero street lights

what is up with that?

i mapped out my run last night

and thought i had it memorized

but i made a wrong turn

and ended up at an access road that was super busy

so i turned around and figured out where i made my mistake

but wasn't sure when i'd be at a halfway point

so i kept telling myself - "just one more song, and then turn around"

and i guess i listened to a few too many songs

and by the time i made it back to the hotel i had hit 5 miles

i'll take it

5 miles deserves a starbucks run - grande skinny caramel macchiato

and i've been stuffing my face with the largest apple i've ever seen covered in peanut butter

it's been a fairly easy trip thus far

and i'm getting pumped to run 10 miles tomorrow morning.

hopefully i don't get lost!

Sep 25, 2013

running and travel

yesterday's 6 mile run was powered by

2 morning cups of coffee
puppy chow
diet root beer
venti iced coffee
more puppy chow
belvita breakfast cracker

pure sugar and caffiene

needless to say i felt absolutely sick after i showered

but dangit if it wasn't a speedy (for me) 6 miles!

i would have done more if it hadn't have been getting dark out too

i'm hoping to get out of work early today since i need to pack for tomorrow's work trip to dallas

i'll be heading down with my boss

clearly we will have a miserable time.

Sep 24, 2013

my wittle baby tat

morning ya'll

i'm linking up with allie @ tales with of a twenty something


and we're talking tattoos today!

i just have one

when i set out to run my first half marathon, some time in the process i said i would get a tattoo when i finished

i worked really hard to earn my first half marathon

and over the course of 4 months of training i had plenty of time to think about what kind of tattoo i would get

i decided i wanted a lotus flower, but nothing too big and nothing too colorful

i work in an office, and knew i wanted to keep it simple and not like a teardrop on my cheek

i decided since i had ran for this tattoo that getting it put on my foot would be a good spot and a good reminder of where my feet alone could take me

after searching the internets (this was before pinterest) i found this mandala like drawing

and i thought it would be cool to have the "ohm" symbol inserted in the middle - since running is my happy and calming place

so needless to say i ran the damn thing (in nashville) and took home the shirt and medal

(also, i met bill the day after this race)

a week later i was sitting at the tattoo place...parlor?

tattoo parlor?  is that what it's called?

i actually made an appointment, and felt super uncool when the guy was like, yeah, people usually just walk in


i chose the guy to do my tattoo based on his artwork posted online

and the fact that his "name" is boomer

i feel like i needed a guy named "boomer" to do this.

and he was a lot of fun.

i actually got a pedicure before getting my tattoo because i wanted to have pretty feet in case the tattoo guy was hot.

i also watched youtube videos of people freaking out about getting tattoos and crying and screaming.

so i brought my little mermaid pillow with me just in case

but i was a little disappointed/surprised at how little the tattoo hurt

i was probably there for an hour or so

and while it didn't feel good, i definitely couldn't figure out why people thought this hurt

and i would think out of all places, my foot would be a sensitive area?

a few people at work tease me about it - saying it looks like a sheriff's badge - which is still pretty cool in my book

and i've also had SEVERAL people compliment me on my "henna tattoo" - i think maybe because it's a turquoise tattoo and not black they don't think it's real

so when i say, "it's a real tattoo" they give me a funny look and say "oh, it's so pretty though"

it'll be 3 years next wednesday since i got the tattoo

and i still love it

would i get another one?

i've thought about it

but i can't really imagine another place on my body that i would want one

so i'm ok with just the one.

do you have any tattoos? 

Sep 23, 2013

weekend wips

it feels like fall


so basically that means

i could eat one of these

i ate like crap all weekend and mentioned several times my tummy hurting

so i'm over it for now

back to normal eating - which included hot oats straight out of the rice cooker this morning!

it's a good thing i'm over the junk food

because we filled up our candy bucket.

lord help me when we reach the reese's (which i strategically put on the bottom)

the weekend was kind of a blur - spent helping friends move and craft night with my SILs

i had wanted to really set up my sewing/knitting corner, but never really got around to doing so

i DID however make some envelope style pillow covers for the living room

4 of these pillows came with the couch

quite boring - and really did nothing to bring color into the room

so i had found this tutorial on pinterest

followed it exactly

and VIOLA!

instant transformation! 

if you've ever shopped for pillows you would know that basic decorative pillows can cost you $25+ each

this project cost me about $10 - including both front and back fabrics (backing was made out of muslin which is super cheap) and matching thread

i only fell in love with this chevron pattern - so i actually still have 2 more pillows that need covered.

i was hoping to get some contrasting patterns

my only suggestion and tweak i would make to the tutorial listed - and it's really a personal preference

the lady at the fabric store told me to bring my seam allowance in a bit at the corners - which i didn't - and you can tell from my photos you end up with really pointy pillows

it doesn't bother me really - i think they look fine

but for someone else who is a sewing newbie, i thought i would pass along the info.

i'm hoping to find more fabric on lunch today so i can finish this project tonight!

in other news

i'm prepping for a short week here at work

because it's that time of year again where i travel to our other plant locations

and do cost accounting stuff

...and do a teeny tiny bit of sightseeing while i can :)

Sep 20, 2013

i'm basically coco chanel

my knitting pile is getting a bit jealous

because i'm basically a seamstress now (not even close)

look at them pockets! (they have a mini pleat in the middle which is why the pattern looks off)

they are as big as shorts!

it only took me 5 tries to thread my needle

only because i couldn't find my instruction manual

and i only sewed a front to a back 3 times! 

i couldn't find my seam ripper

so i had to use a teeny tiny crochet hook.

i also discovered that part of my seams were sewn using very long stitches.  whoops.

i also had a mini panic attack when i started sewing the actual panels together

this skirt is HUGE

i made sure to measure my waist before deciding which size to cut out

and when i slipped it on there was like 6 extra inches in the waist

after texting my granny she reassured me that once i get the elastic waistband in the skirt it will pull in - and also help create the fullness

here's what i have so far (minus the waistband and hemming)

and i tried to get a picture of the huge pockets

but i don't think you'll be able to tell their enormity until i finish and put it on

for reference - here's what i'm going for

 (view A1 - the one the model is wearing)

hopefully i'll have this done by tonight - and i'm even thinking about picking up fabric to make a pair of the pants this weekend 

woodford wanted to wish you a happy weekend

and with that, i will too!

until monday!


Sep 19, 2013

learning to sew

i posted this yesterday (clearly i am not afraid of a little color)

and while i'm still not sure if i remember how to thread the bobbin

i know i've already made a few rookie mistakes cutting this pattern out


i worked solely on the floor

on the carpet

i know my cutting would have been better if i had used the kitchen table instead

next time.


i didn't have anything to mark the fabric with - i'm going to have to try to re-line up the pieces i cut and mark them tonight AFTER i stop at the craft store


i didn't know you were supposed to measure from those arrow points to selvedge edge


the 4 panels of this skirt might be all over the place grain wise and pattern wise


i guess i should have bought more fabric in order to have matched up pattern repeats

but that sounds really advanced for me right now

and realistically i should have picked something with less pattern.

i'm kind of hoping the pattern is busy enough that any mistakes kind of blend in

like anything in life

sometimes you just gotta jump in head first and figure it all out as you go

and watch lots of youtube.

which is how i learned to knit - and i would say i'm a pretty intermediate knitter.

if this skirt actually ends up fitting and is wearable at least to the grocery store

i'm making a pair of those pants next!


Sep 18, 2013

one good thing and one bad thing

good thing:
i wasn't proud of my mini break from running i took last week

but i think i needed it

i ran monday night and got 3 miles in (i needed 4, but it was getting too dark out)

and last night i ran 6- without stopping!


i almost messed up my ankle while running in loose gravel to avoid traffic

luckily i think i'm fine

i kept running on it

and it did feel a bit off

but i wasn't in pain

so i wasn't going to use that as an excuse to not run 6 miles

i also ran through some serious stomach issues and gas

which started at mile 2

i had some strong willpower last night!

i do not advise eating 2 cups of bean soup for lunch and not


taking care of business before running.

i came home and looked down at my splits

and i had been keeping a much faster pace than normal

time off can be a good thing!

i promptly ate a handful of m&ms and drank 3 servings of gatorade

it was 7:45 pm

and that was dinner

as i was too tired to fix anything else

bad thing:

i'm sitting at work

noticing that my underarms are feeling a little moist

and i realize that i forgot to put deodorant on

so here i am

rubbing sweet cinnamon pumpkin lotion on my hands

and carefully trying to be nonchalant about rubbing the lotion under my arms

classy i am not

but hopefully i can avoid smelling like a 13 year old boy.

happy hump day!


Sep 16, 2013

weekend and bedroom overhaul

i was in such a running slump last week and this weekend

really, there's no excuse - i mean...
i came up with several
but my pledge to  myself is just do better :)
the weekend was full of football, per usual
unfortunately my cats lost against our instate rivalry 
so i licked my wounds and went shopping at the most wonderful place on earth


yes. i go about 3 times a week.

this trip i bought:
fall m&ms - peanut, pumpkin spice, and peanut butter

which is basically the dumbest thing to buy when you're trying to lose weight
and pumpkin spice coffee
i'm actually slightly disappointed.  last year i bought the k-cup green mountain pumpkin spice and i LOVED it.  
this dunkin donuts version tastes really artificial.
to round out the fall experience
2 for 22 fall candles (one in marshmallow fireplace and the other in sweet creamy pumpkin) - plus i had a coupon for a free mini candle and 20% off - so 2 candles for $20 ain't bad!

sunday morning i decided to throw a hissy fit

i really wanted to roam around some shops and enjoy the gorgeous day

and bill really wanted to watch football.

we ended up over at lowes at noon, before football

to purchase some spray paint to refinish a plant stand on our patio

i still need to pick up one more can to touch up a few spots - i'll take some after pictures hopefully tonight

after the main (buffalo bills) football game was over, i was feeling inspired to get some other projects done around the house

i tend to dwell on all the stuff i want and need to make our place exactly what i envision

which can be really tough when money doesn't grow on trees.

that dwelling leads to me always being unhappy with the house's present state

so after wondering around the spare bedroom - which functions as a junk room/bill's office/craft room

and wondering around the living room and looking at our disaster of a bedroom

the wheels started turning.

i have my sewing machine and crafts in the spare bedroom

we tend to keep that room shut off so woodford doesn't go in there

or bill is working in there so i never feel like i can go in there and sew or dig through craft supplies

(key word:dig)

i surveyed the living room and thought about dragging the sewing machine somewhere in there - where i could get some projects completed in the evening

but i felt like the room would start to feel cluttered.

our bedroom (which i didn't take a true before picture) doesn't really function much more than a place to sleep

it's not a huge room, but we were definitely not using it to it's fullest capabilities.

our tv was on a small table - boosted up by phone books (!!! which it has been for like 2 years)

my original vision meant buying a proper dresser which would also function as a tv stand

not ready to buy anything just yet - i decided to make our bedroom work with what we had

bill loves to clean and i love rearranging furniture

so it was on!

before this picture was taken, the bed was actually turned the other way (and the cat hair on the floor was in the process of being swept up)

there was a lot of junk that had piled up that we basically had to shuffle to other rooms for the time being

we got in a groove and started moving things quite efficiently

the bookcase that was once in the living room had been relegated to the office - but it wasn't really functioning there either

so we moved it to our bedroom

which actually works quite well for the time being as a tv stand

ps. sorry about the crummy lighting

pss i really hate that wall color

psss how in the hell do you decorate/use two windows stacked on top of each other?

watching tv in bed:

what i picture down the road - and picmonkey skills are AWESOME....

we still need a narrow dresser - probably opposite the bed

and i would really like to mount the tv in the bedroom, but use some of Pottery Barn's storage ideas so the tv can be "hidden"

and also, the dresser can remain clutter free

the book shelf could be used elsewhere and a big comfy chair added to the room for reading/knitting

we also moved my nightstand over to bill's side of the bed

and shimmied in my old farm work table (that i found at a peddler's mall)

to double as my nightstand and also house my sewing machine and knitting needles (also, those hats have found a new home)

a couple of weekends ago i finally sorted and used glass jars to store my needles

so the space currently looks like this

and in my mind i see something more like this

a peg board and organized space on the wall

some art to the right of the desk

a chair

and possibly some decorative storage on the floor that can be tucked away (for yarn and fabric)

our spare bedroom looks even more cluttered now, if that's even possible

we're going to start gathering things for a spring yardsale

and the masterbathroom is looking pretty rough

but the bedroom is now a comfortable room and can also be funtional

we finished cleaning around 9:30

and it took me about an hour to finally come off my cleaning high to sleep

i feel pretty accomplished

a whole room makeover and $0 spent.