Thursday, May 31, 2012

There's not place like home, except Grandma's

With the beginning of summer, it's hard not to reminisce about the summer moments I loved as a child. Growing we spent a lot of time at our grandparents house while our parents were at work. My mother's parents lived just a few blocks away, close enough to ride our bikes to, and we spent plenty of hot, summer days with our Grandma at their house.

I loved those days! Who didn't love going to Grandma and Grandpa's house? They always had the best snacks, the best toys, and their neighborhood was the best for kids to play with. In fact, my best friend in elementary school lived two doors down! I was practically begging to go there as much as possible.

(The funny thing is, considering my mom grew up in that neighborhood, most of the neighbor kids' parents were friends of my mom in high school)

My Grandpa owned a salvage yard (which, is another post in itself because we got into plenty of trouble/fun playing in the "junkyard" of cars) and my Grandma would deliver the car parts that people bought or she would go pick up parts that my Grandpa needed. This meant that we got to run lots of errands with her all over town, which, I thought was fun. I still think running errands are fun. Just bouncing around town on a flexible schedule... or no schedule!

I can't imagine not having lived so close to my Grandparents. Not only was easier on my parents, but it was a lot of fun for us!!

What are you favorite summertime memories as a child?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Today I'm linking up with one of the sweetest bloggers, Jamie, for What I'm Loving Wednesday! 


Jamie always finds the cutest dresses at and each week I end up window shopping on drooling over the gorgeous pretties. This week I decided to pick out some of my favorites from Ruche and my other favorite place for dresses, Francesca's! 

Here are the dresses I'm loving!

Besides dresses, I am loving many other things this week (which, is going much better than last week. Thank goodness!)

I'm loving... 
My mom bought me this Bed Head leave in conditioner for CHRISTMAS and I resisted using it because my hair is very oily and I worried that this would make it worse. I finally started using it about a month ago and I love it! My hair has never felt healthier!

This sweet little lady! She has to be on special food that happens to be very fatty, so it's important that we exercise her regularly. I tend to take her on shorter runs (no more than 2 miles) and she is such a trooper! I just love her as a running buddy. :)


Sweet, sweet summertime! Although I will miss substitute teaching for the three months that kids are out of school, I just know that I am going to enjoy this incredible perk of being an educator and having my favorite season off. I will still be working and am taking four summer classes, but I still plan to spend plenty of time at the pool pictured above. ;)

What are you loving this week?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Club Friday - Sophie Kinsella's newest release

Today I'm linking up with Heather, at Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday. This is a great weekly feature where we all link up with posts on what we were reading this week.

This week I finally got around to reading Sophie Kinsella's newest release, I've Got Your Number.  I can confidently thank Sophie Kinsella for turning me on to chick lit. I have been reading this genre since I was a young undergrad (oh, God, it was over 10 years ago) and although I have outgrown some of them, for the most part, I still enjoy a good chick lit every now and then, especially in the summer.

I can vividly remember picking up Confessions of a Shopaholic while I was still an undergrad at Iowa State and reading the book in the basement of my sorority house. After I reading it, the book got passed around the house, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's still there! I absolutely adored the character of Becky Bloomwood and was hooked on this style of writing.

From there I fell in love with Sophie Kinsella and everything she puts out. I have immediately purchased all of her titles, and although she has had some flops (Mini Shopaholic?) I still love her and will buy whatever she writes. It may seem like I buy a lot of books (because... I do) but I am actually very careful about how many purchase, and which ones I purchase I new. I use the library A LOT and I frequently wait for used copies at Half Price Bookstores, but for some authors, the ones I want to support and know, I'll shell out the money for a brand new copy and support them.

The Shopaholic series has been quite exhausted by now, and to be honest, I am really excited when an independent book is released. I adored Twenties Girl (in fact, I really want to reread it!) and Remember Me? so I was really happy to see another independent book with I've Got Your Number.

From Goodreads:

I've lost it. The only thing in the world I wasn't supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It's been in Magnus's family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I've lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive!!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her 'happy ever after' begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn't agree. He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents... she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

IGYN started really slow for me. After about 150 pages the storyline started to pick up for me and I really began to get into the characters. The plot was predictable, and I would compare it to a typical romantic comedy. In fact, the entire time I was reading the book, I kept thinking to myself how it would make a great movie.

I loved the character of Poppy and Sam. Sam surprised me with his depth about halfway though, and so did Poppy, actually! They both had some great insights and depth by the end of the book, but I found both of their storylines very predictable. There were a few twists, but nothing that left me shocked. This formula is classic Kinsella though. I'm not complaining, because I knew it was coming, and what I enjoy most is getting to know her quirky characters.

This will be a fabulous book to read while lying poolside this summer or on the beach. If you're a fan of Sophie Kinsella, don't let the flop of Mini Shopaholic deter you from picking up this book!  

Did you read the Shopaholic series? Have you outgrown "chick lit" or is still a favorite genre of yours?  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wine & Love

It is finally the end of the week. FINALLY! With the absence of my crazy schedule, my weeks are just crawling by. This is just a short respite though, so I know I need to take advantage of it and relax, but I'm so much better when I'm crazy busy all the time.

Since it's Thursday and there have been some definite highs and lows of this week, it's the perfect time to participate in Nora's Wine & Love feature!

Each week we blog what is making us reach for the wine out of stress and what is making us reach for the wine out of love! ;)

(but actually, I am not drinking at all due to race day being EIGHT days away, but I will imagine I'm drinking instead)

This week what has me w(h)ining is... 
  • People who break plans. And on top of breaking plans, don't tell me. I had to dig to find out. Really? It's such a turn off and I find that extremely unattractive in a person (especially guys). (Yes, this was a guy.) (Yes, I am still extremely annoyed.)
  • Not being able to find a house to rent for the next year. We're so sick of living in an apartment with three dogs, but finding a home for renting instead of buying has proven to be close to impossible. Every day I whine about how I wish I had bought a house when I had the salary that would have allowed that. Sigh. (I need to keep reminding myself of perspective. I am much happier now in my career, and I will have a "normal" salary again soon).
  • Feeling like you bend over backwards for people and are always there, always responsive. But, they don't do the same for you. Ya, know? 
  • School is almost out (public school) and I am actually really really sad. This is my last semester of substitute teaching on a regular basis. In the fall my class schedule only allows me to sub on Fridays and the following semester I will be student teaching. Just thinking about this puts a lump in my throat. I love subbing. 
  • The pain that has cropped up on the left side of my hip yesterday. I felt fine until about the end of 2nd period, and during passing as I left to go to the restroom I found myself practically hobbling and limping down the hall. It felt like it came out of nowhere and the pain is STILL there. :(
  • Just in general feeling very unimportant. To so many people. That's one of the worst feelings for me. I have to feel important. (Doesn't everyone?)
This week I am loving... 
  • That our pool is open early. In fact, it's been open a couple weeks now! The bright side of staying in this apartment complex is the pool. I love our pool!
  • Looking forward to a weekend at the lake. I love looking forward to stuff like that! I know it will be relaxing and full of lots of laughs!
  • The tan that I am getting from running. I love being tan! (Don't worry, I am wearing my SPF).
  • The class that started last week and am looking forward to the two classes that start next week. Yes, I know, this makes me a huge nerd. But, I really enjoy being in the classroom (as student or teacher). 
This is really it. I could keep stretching for loves, but honestly, it's been a blah week. I'm hoping that a weekend away will recharge my batteries and help me put a few things in perspective, say goodbye to some negative energy and just get on track. 

What's making you reach for the wine? Do you have any plans for the holiday weekend?

Monday, May 21, 2012

One Year Anniversary!

Exactly one year ago I was sitting around with one of my best friends and we got to talking about how fun it would be to create a book club that that combined two things we do all the time... happy hours and books! This is when Books 'n Bars was born.


I've always been that nerd that loves talking about books, being around books, and, of course, reading books. I blame my father! ;)

For the longest time I was pretty quiet about my obsession, but in the past few years (pretty much my late twenties) I got over that, and began opening talking about books all-the-time.  Shockingly, I found many people that were close to me, felt the same way I did! Now, I cannot believe that Books 'n Bars is still going strong and has gained so much interest! We all have met some new people and many friends have been introduced and lots and lots of great conversation has been had out of this book club! I could not be happier with the success in this past year!

For May, we read Mindy Kaling's book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and we all loved it! It was laugh-out-loud funny and something I would definitely recommend if you're looking for some light humor that is a fast read!

This book is a collection of essays that Mindy has written about subjects that range from her favorite comedy bits, to rules between best friends. After reading this book I basically want to be her best friend. She would have me laughing all.the.time!

The bar we chose this month was El Bait Shop in downtown Des Moines. Bait Shop is attached to one of my other favorite bars, The High Life Lounge and it's pretty cool because you can order from both bars. Despite having our meeting at Bait Shop (which - has the BEST selection of bottled beers. My favorite is the Sea Dog Raspberry!) I ate my dinner from High Life. I always get the cheeseburger basket. It's a tasty cheeseburger with tator tots for .... $3.75. Yes! You read that right, it's really that cheap! And, it's still good!

But, definitely check out Bait Shop for their great selection of beers. You seriously cannot beat it! 


 For the month of June we are reading a book that I have been dying to read. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Most of you know I am a big animal lover and this book is told from the perspective of a dog, and I know I am going to fall in love with it!

We're meeting at Buzzard Billy's (new location on 2nd Avenue downtown for you locals!) on June 29th at 5:30pm. Please feel free to join us if you're in the area!

 Thank you to everyone that has helped make Books 'n Bars successful! It has been a great year! Happy birthday, BnB! :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A foot in the mouth moment

It's kind of funny when people totally put their foot in their mouth (as long as it's not me). 

The other day I was on a first date (total torture) and as we were discussing each others careers, my date completely put his foot in his mouth. While explaining my current job situation it impresses some people, while sometimes it makes other people feel sorry for me. I believe this guy fell into the latter group.

He said to me in reply to a question or comment that I can no longer remember, "I mean, they let anybody into the classroom to substitute teach." There was no, "right?" after that statement, and it wasn't said as a question. It was a statement.

I kind of sat back, slightly in shock. Then I kind of wanted to laugh, because, I mean, did he really just say that to someone that does that for a living in the interim?

Instead of answering right away, and effectively putting my foot in my mouth, as well, I just sat there. After a couple of minutes he said, "well, obviously not you."

Right. No way. Not me. Of course. 

I laughed and realized, well, in some states he is right. Unfortunately, he has lived in Iowa his entire life and this fact is not true for Iowa. Iowans have to hold a bachelor's degree and take a 20 hour course at our local education agency and then jump through about a million hoops to prove that you are not a criminal. I'm not saying that every substitute is a quality teacher. I have come across some horribly, awful substitutes. The kids also tell me about some of the bad ones, so I know.

But, still.

I said, yes, you are right. Some states only require a high school diploma, but... what would we do without the people that fill these roles that nobody else wants to do? I'm serious. Think about all of the positions that support your own position. What would you do without these people that do the so-called "grunt work?" We'd be pretty miserable. We would also have very little time to do the job we were hired to do.

I was first introduced to this concept a really long time ago. In fact, I was 18 and working my first job in a restaurant as a server. I was grumbling over having to tip out the bussers and the bartenders a percentage of my tips, and the person training me said, "Well, could you do their job without them? If not, they deserve to be compensated."

This response has really stuck with me over the years. He was right. Those people helped me do my job better. I earned more tips because of their efficiency.

What support positions are in place that make your job easier? Janitors? Supervisors? Administrative assistants? Assistants in general? How is their job any less important? They make your life easier, right?

Luckily, I'm not the type to get mad and get all huffy about my date's comment (well, at least not visibly), but it did give me some insight about how he views other people. An insight I wasn't sure I liked.

(Maybe this is why I am still single. That's a subject for another day, though)

Point of the story. I think everyone should have to do a service job at some point in their lives. Waiting tables. Bartending. Retail sales. Any type of face to face customer service. Your view on humanity will change. Guaranteed.

Have you held a job in the service industry? If so, what?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Oh! How Pinteresting! Dresses edition.

 In my mind it's officially summer. Spring semester is over, winter clothes are packed away and I'm in my favorite go to outfit when it's hot out. DRESSES! I love dresses (and skirts). You're very likely to see me wearing dresses and skirts most of the time.  Not only are they cute and feminine, they're comfortable!

Here are some of my favorite finds this week on Pinterest!

I think this one is so pretty! Perfect for a night out.

This is just gorgeous. I want to see the back though!

I would wear this on a random summer day. Perfect for just running around.

Minus the white jacket, I love this outfit. So adorable!

Did I really just pin a denim a dress? Yes, yes I did. It looks extremely short though.  I thought maybe I had pinned a child's dress, but then I saw it came from Modcloth. Nope, it's for adults. ;) Isn't it adorable?

I. Am. In. Love. With. This. Dress. Simply gorgeous!

So cute!

Source: via Ariel on Pinterest

This dress is also just gorgeous. I want it!

What is your go to outfit in the summer?

Monday, May 14, 2012

25 Things

Remember the Twenty-Five Things list from Myspace from a million years ago? Remember Myspace? I was a total addict. In fact, I'm pretty sure my page is still active. Maybe I should shut that down.

Anyway, Erica did a list of 25 random facts, and I just had to play along. :)

I promise, proper update of my weekend will be up. It was a fun one!

1. I'm planning on being an ESL teacher, but I'm not bilingual.
2.  I once ate llama meat, but I didn't know it at the time. It tasted like beef.
3. When I was a baby a photo my mom took of me won a contest, and I was pictured in the Enquirer.
4. I've been to over 30 states and I want to be able to someday say I have been to them all.
5. I love the ocean and lakes. It can be one of the most peaceful and most fun places for me.
6. When I was in college my hair color changed probably every six months. Mainly, I switched between blonde and brunette. I have been blonde for several years now.
7. My cat is named after my favorite job. Libby (Club Libby Lu).
8. I used to say I wanted twin girls and I would name them Autumn and Summer.
9. Growing up my mom would always bring home stray cats. We always had pets.
10. I hate broccoli.
11. I love school and think I could be content being a college student forever.
12. I want to get my doctorate someday, but I don't know what I would research. Maybe someday I'll figure it out.
13. When I was a kid I wanted to be a librarian. Or own a bookstore.
14. I was an editor on my high school newspaper.
15. I'm not a natural athlete at all and have to try really hard at sports.
16. I love chips and salsa and could probably eat it all the time.
17. I've always kind of wished I had brown eyes.
18. Sometimes I still make decisions by "eenie meenie miny mo."
19. I have never read a Jane Austen novel or Little Women. I need to get on that.
20. Despite living in one of the least diverse states in the country, the schools I attended were very diverse, and I didn't think anything of it. When I met people in college that didn't have any minorities in their small schools, I was floored.
21. Growing up my favorite show was Full House.
22. I love cheese. Way too much.
23. I'm extremely ticklish.
24. I broke my tail bone once trying to learn how to do either a backflip or a front flip (can't remember which). It really hurt.
25. I don't like cucumbers, but I love pickles.

What's a random fact about you? 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Post-productive blues

Six classes, eighteen credits and countless hours of working on lesson plans, teaching and reflecting done. I know I did well this semester, despite being extremely busy, so why do I have the blues? Yesterday as I left my last class I just felt .... weird. I've chalked it up to post productive blues. You do all that work and then ... it's over.

I think exhaustion is just setting in and I need a break. A break to do nothing. But, when you haven't done nothing for awhile, you don't really know how to do it anymore. I cannot just do nothing. I'm thinking about how many books I want to read this semester or how I should get ahead on the reading for my summer classes, or clean the house... or ... or.... or... it doesn't stop!

Public school doesn't get out for a couple more weeks, so hopefully I can sub as much as possible. I also really need to start working more at the agency. I did SO GOOD in March, and worked an insane amount of hours, but April and May happened and my productivity there tanked. They're sort of on my case about it and hopefully I can pick up the slack the rest of the month and throughout the summer.

I'm also hoping and praying I get some tutoring and babysitting jobs this summer. Yes, I said babysitting. I considered nannying, I know that would be so much fun, but I'm pretty sure it's a little too late for that now. Plus, I would want a family I at least know a little bit... Through my tutoring this semester at Greenwood a couple teachers have my number so I hope they call. 

I'm taking four summer classes, but they all start at different times. The first one starts Monday, but it's online, so I can really create my own schedule. This is exactly what I need. Two of the classes are middle school classes (one on curriculum and the other on adolescent development), then my last special ed class (hallelujah!) and an adolescent lit class - which, I am SO EXCITED for! I've already seen the list of books and I am PUMPED! (I'm also a nerd).

Anyway, so that is what is going on with me. Finals are over. My spring 2012 semester is over and I only have two more semesters to go (summer and fall) before I student teach. This crazy ride is almost over and I can't believe it!

What are your plans this weekend? Anything fun?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Life Currently ...

Life is getting the best of me and I just cannot seem to put together a coherent blog post. The semester officially ends for me today, and it feels like now my body knows it can just fall apart. I'm exhausted!  
So, memes it is! 

I got this from Kyria, who is the sweetest blogger, and is so encouraging with the new running habit I have picked up. :)
Current Book - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I've been warned to have the tissues ready. Great.
Current Celebrity Crush - Zac Efron lately. I really, really want to see The Lucky One! :)
Current Drink - Ice water with Mio added to it. My favorite flavor is strawberry watermelon (which is funny because I don't like watermelon!)
Current Excitement - Can't wait to head to Kansas City for Rockfest on Saturday. I'm going with a group of friends that are *always* a good time and I can't wait to let loose!
Current fashion trend - Hmm... I'm obsessed with wedges. I also want to give Toms a try again, but I don't know. They look funny on me.
Current Favorite Blog/Website - Well, I haven't done much for leisure. I'm pretty stoked about Map My Run though, I just discovered a bunch of local routes that I want to try. 
Current Favorite Film - I just watched Stepbrothers the other night, that movie *always* makes me laugh!
Curent Food - I have been craving Thai food like crazy lately! My favorite is panang curry with chicken. 
Current Guilty Pleasure - Too much coffee? Too much pop? The occasional Monster? (my favorite is the absolute zero kind). I have way too many guilty pleasures lately considering it's finals week and I am wore out!
Current Indulgence - I'm thinking about eating school pizza for lunch, does that count? ;)
Current Mood - sleepy
Current New Find - I just found some Hershey's Kisses on this teachers desk (I guess that would be current guilty pleasure, but I literally just found them). 
Current Outfit - Jeans, tank, cardigan, wedges (pretty typical)
Current Peeve - People and their bad moods.
Current Song - Brokenhearted by Karmin (I will get sick of it soon though!)
Current Triumph - My 7 mile run that went great on Monday! 
Current TV Show - Revenge! Last night's episode was kind of boring, but I just love that show!
Current Wish-List - A VACATION! Preferably on a beach somewhere
Currently Delaying - Wrapping up my final project. It's due at 5:30, and it's pretty much done. It just needs a few finishing touches and proofreading. 

What are you currently up to? What's your current triumph?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ninety-nine Things

I found this on Chelsea's blog, which she found on someone elses, which, I am sure was found on someone elses... You know how this works. ;)

I love this stuff, so here goes.

1. Started your own blog √
2. Slept under the stars √
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity √
7. Been to Disneyland √
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightening storm √
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch √
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning √
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables √
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight √
22. Hitch hiked √
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill √
24. Built a snow fort √
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping √
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset √
31. Hit a home run √
32. Been on a cruise √
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person √
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community √
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke √
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight √
46. Been transported in an ambulance √
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain √
53. Played in the mud √
54. Gone to a drive-in theater √
55. Been in a movie  √
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class √
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies √
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason √
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma √
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check √
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar √
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square √
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car √
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper √
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve √
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox √
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous √
92. Joined a book club √
93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone √
99. Been stung by a bee √

Not too shabby. Some things I need to get onto right away! Some stuff I could care less about. ;)

**edited to add** Reason number 42014543225 I need to proofread. Number 94 was checked (thank you Shannon for pointing that out!) and no, I have not checked that off my list yet in this lifetime! lol, embarrassing, but very very funny! :)

If you could do anything from this list *right now* what would it be?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Why I don't weigh myself

I'm not a math person, I struggled with math in high school, and pretty much refused to take a math class at University but when I got out into the corporate world I found I was very numbers driven. I blame all those sales goals that I took very seriously and spreadsheets for just.about.everything that I dealt with for six years. Before I embarked on this career in education I was obsessed with numbers. Sales numbers. Each morning I would start my day and obsess over the numbers that came in from the day before.

Not once did anybody beat my numbers from any of the stores I worked on. Not once. And, trust me, I looked! There were over 100 stores, and on any given day I could probably give you the ballpark figure for what each store made the day before. I'm really not that competitive of a person, but for some reason this just really drew it out in me! I would get to work early and pore over every spreadsheet to figure out what was selling where and try to figure out why and how. I always joked that they should have hired me for real estate because I knew what stores would do best and where.

That obsession though? It is why I don't weigh myself. In fact, since I started training for Dam to Dam I have not weighed myself once. Am I curious? Heck, yes! I want to know so bad, but I know that as soon as I pull out that scale (that is currently in hiding underneath my sink) this training will turn into something else.

Of course I am interested in the health benefits of running and I would love to drop some several pounds, but I know that as soon as I know that number I will become obsessed with it and will agonize over it for days. That is not healthy.

Instead I take note in how my clothes fit me. Take Friday for example. Friday morning I decided to pull a pair of denim capris out of my stack of jeans that don't fit me anymore* and they fit! Or I take note when people compliment me and mention that I look good or my body is changing. Those are the things that matter much more than the number on the scale.

Also? What if I get on that scale and the number is higher because of muscle mass?  Gasp! This happened to me in 2008. I was working out a ton to get ready for a wedding that I was in and I was going to Body Pump classes all the time. Well, that was pretty much all I was doing. No cardio. Although my body changed, the number on the scale didn't move at all or it went up a little bit. It discouraged me so much that I really learned my lesson.

So, today, let the doctor weigh me when I go there once or twice a year. Other than that, I don't think that number is very important.

Do you weigh yourself regularly?

*Yes, I have a "stack of jeans that don't fit me." Don't you? This stack has it's own special place in my closet that stares me in the face everyday. It's pretty good motivation... jeans are expensive and I do not plan on replacing them with a bigger pair. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

That naughty book everyone's talking about...

Last month I succumbed to the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon... in fact, it was the only book I read in April. Last month was so busy, I hardly had time to read for fun, which, was a shame because reading is my main stress reliever. Yeah, April was a stressful month. :/


I read the first book in this series and .... I'm sorry to say, I wasn't that big of a fan! I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. The main character, Ana, was very unrealistic to me, and Christian kind of got on my nerves. Both characters were just odd, and I didn't get them. A friend sent me the second and third book, so I will probably give them a second chance because A. I'm curious what Christians past is all about B. I want to know what happens between Ana and Christian and C. I'm still a little intrigued.

The writing is not good. I would categorize it with Twilight for the quality of writing, but is it engaging? Yes. There were definitely some parts that made me blush a furious shade of red, and I would NOT read this book in the school setting (trust me). Also, if you have an e-reader, buy the electronic version. I was extremely happy that I went that route instead of the physical copy like I usually do.

Another tip? Ladies, set aside your inner (or outer, ha) feminist, because some parts will literally piss you off. I had to keep reminding myself, it's just a book.

Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey? What did you think? If not, are you intrigued yet? 

Today I am linking up with Heather at Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My favorite class...

Each semester it seems there is one class that I am heartbroken to see end. Last semester it was children's lit, and this semester it is my American History class.

You may be wondering why I am taking a history class. Trust me, you're not the only one to wonder this. I'm studying elementary education, not secondary education, so most of my classes are methods classes, and not content heavy classes like the secondary students have. Although I am, however, very interested in teaching middle school someday (I know, I may have a few screws loose) so I added the middle school endorsement to my list of areas. I will not finish this endorsement until after I have my degree, but according to a couple of principals I have spoken with and various other people in my program, if I really do want to teach middle school, this endorsement will be beneficial.

The classes for this area are all content heavy classes in language arts, math, science and social sciences. Of course this made me so excited. Social studies? English? Sign me up!

The first class I chose was an American History class that picked up after the Civil War and studied everything up until current day. You guys, I completely nerded out with this class. I read every single word of the assigned readings, took my weekly papers very serious (they were actually kinda fun to write!), and did not miss a single lecture.

When I was younger, I hated history. Even in undergrad, I hated history. Maybe I wasn't mature enough. Maybe I didn't have enough life experience. I'm not sure. I do know that when I was in elementary, middle and high school it was the way it was taught. Most of the time it was reading the textbook and answering the questions at the end of the chapter. Not. Effective. 

In high school, though, we had this current events class and each week we studied a new subject. We studied things like the JFK assassination, serial killers, 1970s cults (Charles Manson - freeakky), the Lindbergh baby, and the Amelia Earhart disappearance. It was probably my favorite class of all time, and I often think about how I wish I still had my notebook for that class. I have even considered going to my high school to see if the teacher is still there (too bad I cannot remember his name. Local East grads, do you know what I am talking about?!).

The point is, it was the way the class was taught. The teacher was so passionate and knowledgeable about the subjects, and he made them interesting for the class! I often went home and Googled (well, I don't think Google was around then - this was like 1998) the subjects to learn more. I can remember one time looking up stuff about Charles Manson (I'm not weird, I swear) and there was this site that had a huge picture of his face and his eyeballs followed the cursor. The links on the left were all vertical and every time you scrolled over one, a bullet shot would sound. I didn't know this and I scrolled over all of them... About 15 bullet shots sounded and I think I had a mini heart attack at age 16... I wonder if that site is still up? I can remember telling my mom I wanted to read Helter Skelter. I'm pretty sure she was concerned.

This class was the only class I can remember really loving that regarded social sciences and history. Until now!

All I have left is the final, and hopefully I can kick the final's butt and pull off an A. If so, I will be pretty happy, but if not, I'm still happy. The class was fun and it kept me engaged the entire semester, I looked forward to the sections and reading each chapter of the book. Sounds nerdy, but I really did! I wish I could spend more time on the middle school endorsement, considering these classes are like electives for me (seriously, I'm a nerd), but I just can't!

Well, I probably shouldn't have spent 20 minutes typing this considering how much I have left to do, but I feel a little calmer. A little less stressed.

One more week to go! :) 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Miles & May

Ummm, hi, May. I'm glad you are here, but... whoa. Time is flying, and I am unsure how I feel about that!

This week is dead week, which, for us Education people means that most of the semester long projects are due this week. This IS the case for me, and my week is kinda nutty. I am so so so so happy that I will never have a course-load like this ever again.

Besides classes, (which, I am done worrying about, things will be fine), I am running the highest mileage to date since I began training.

I am running 21 miles this week.




Yeah, that made me stop and think a little bit, too.

Last night I added up the number of miles that I've ran since March, and it's about 90 miles. This week I will break the 100 mile mark, and this is crazy to me! Crazy, GOOD. The feeling of accomplishment is pretty phenomenal.

So, yeah. That is what is going on with me. I will probably still be MIA for another week or so, but I'll try to squeeze in these updates.

What are you most looking forward to this month?

I am looking forward to Rockfest in Kansas City the second weekend of May. For you locals, it's basically KC's Lazerfest. I'm not a huge fan of that kind of music, but I am a huge fan of that kind of atmosphere! Fun! ;)