Monday, October 31, 2011 snowed...

Before I get to my weekend plans, I have to scream from the rooftop here that I won the free custom shirt from Beth's giveaway over at Shut Up and Run!!!! I get the choice of a SUAR shirt, any shirt from the Family Fan Club website, or a custom shirt with any text or image I want. There are too many choices!! I can't decide. I'll have to make that decision today though...oye!
So it snowed...In fact we had record breaking snowfall! We had tons of warning, so we were able to be completely prepared. My sister and her husband came over to hang out during the storm. We played lots of games, baked some cookies and watched inch after inch of snowfall. 
We really watched in almost disbelief. The last time we had big snowfall in October was back in 1987! Actually it was 10/4/87 and I know this because it was my Aunt Betty and Uncle Mike's wedding day. It was just as bad as this storm, dumping about 10" of snow. This weekend's storm dumped 14" on my house. We had a blast watching the snow pile up.

Snow falling. This was like 45 minutes into it starting. It stuck immediately
which they did not forecast. We were supposed to start as rain

Like I said, about 45 minutes in. This snow was dense and HEAVY.

It was snowing like craaaaaazy.

My driveway at sunrise. I love my plow guys.

Measuring in the middle of my front yard. 14 inches!!!

My driveway is a beast. 300 feet up....LOVE the plow guys!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

plans come and go...

That's me, right under that 10-15" that says Poughkeepsie
We're expecting our first snow storm of the 2011-12 season today. Luckily it hasn't started yet and I have some time to make it to the gym and then hit up the grocery store for some bottled water. The electric company is warning of "catastrophic" power outages as a result of the leaves still being on the trees and then tons of heavy snow piling up on those leaves and pulling down branches and power lines. We're on a well here so if we lose power, we lose water and that means no toilet flushing! So we fill up the bathtub with water just in case, but we definitely hope for the best. We were lucky enough during Irene to keep power, so we're feeling that vibe for this storm too!

Today I'm linking up with the bloggers for health series. The theme for this week is "personal workout plan"s. I'm not sure how I feel about workout plans in general. I'm all for training plans for a specific event, but as an over all workout plan, I'm not sure how they work for me.

For me, the change has to be more than a temporary diet, or a workout plan that I'll fall off the wagon with. I need specific goals to work toward. Right now I'm right in the middle of my training plan for my upcoming half marathon. Even with this 6 month plan, it is really hard to stick to it. I've heard tons of runners refer to being "slaves to the plan." They are rigorous, intense, and really demanding. I run Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with cross training on Tuesdays and Fridays. The only real off day I have is on Sundays. I try to keep Tuesdays and Fridays light, sometimes just stretching or a slow yoga class. Although there are weeks when I'm really feeling it and I push hard on the bike or the elliptical. In addition to that I try to do some sort of strength training 5 times a week. Sometimes it is as easy as simple calisthenics, lunges/squats/sit-ups/etc, but other times I'm at the gym pumping serious iron. (ok maybe not - for my arms I don't use weights more than 12.5 lbs) Really what I'm getting at is that it is freaking hard! It is exhausting!!! I feel great though, I feel like I'm making progress. But really there is no way I could keep this up for more than the 6 months. I would get insanely burned out. I would learn to hate running and working out in general.

I think more than a "workout plan" you should have workout goals. The goal of 6 hours per week, or every other day, or even 4 times a week is more realistic than doing my current plan for any long period of time. After my half I am going to try to do 6 hours a week. That is way down from what I'm currently doing and that scares me a little bit, just based on calorie burn, but I'm looking forward to only 6 hours. The other thing I think is key to keeping up with working out as a lifestyle is to seriously vary the workouts you're doing. I like to use the arc trainer when I'm not running. I set it to hill intervals and climb until my tush is so sore I feel like I can't walk. Sometimes I like to hop on a spin bike and relax and just ride for an hour. It may not be the biggest calorie burn, but it definitely works different muscles and is a lot easier on my knees than running is.

They suggested that I share a workout plan that I think would work for you, but if you've gotten this far you know I don't really love the concept of a workout plan. So I'll share with you what I think good workout goals should be:

  • Workout 6 hours a week
  • Do at least 2 different types of cardio each week
  • Incorporate strength training 4 times a week alternating between arms/legs/core exercises
  • Challenge yourself, if you feel like you can keep going, keep going
  • Don't forget to take rest days, your muscles need time to rebuild
  • STRETCH! I like to do a few simple yoga poses after every strength session

I hope you like my tips for "workout plans" that are easy to stick to. If you're interested I'll also share my half training plan. It is a google doc, just click here to see it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

finally friday!

I live in the Hudson Valley in New York and last night we got our first snowfall of the season. I was a bit freaked at first, it isn't even Halloween yet!! But as the night went on I realized just how excited for the upcoming holiday season I am. Then there was a commercial on ABC during Grey's Anatomy that was about the festive tv shows they plan on showing throughout the season. I'm so excited!!
With Halloween right around the corner, I love that Alison chose to do costumes as the theme! Halloween is such a great excuse to get dressed up into ridiculous get ups and go dance the night away. For the past few years my costumes have been more kid oriented but still super fun. I've been Fiona from Shrek, Toadette from Mario Brothers and Mrs. Potato head from Toy Story. This year I'm sex-ifying myself and going as a prom queen. For Friday Fancies I decided to take it a step further and go with an 80's prom queen. The options of Polyvore are endless and when else are you going to take advantage of the full lace dress and lace gloves??

I'm going to have a crazy fun weekend wearing my costume as often as possible and dancing my butt off at every opportunity I get! This weekend I will be snuggled up in my house perhaps in my costume watching movies and sipping hot chocolate with the family. Apparently we're expecting oodles of snow now for Saturday night. Oye!!

How are you spending your "holiday" weekend??

Thursday, October 27, 2011

blogging for health

Recently I came across this group of bloggers called Bloggers For Health and I was seriously excited. I'm definitely not a health and fitness blogger, but one of the reasons I wanted to start this little blog here was to keep track of my half marathon training. I am trying to work diligently on becoming a healthier person. My biggest goal is to feel good. Losing weight and looking better in clothes will definitely be a perk, but I am really looking to feel strong and like I can do anything.

The prompt for this week is to write about 5 ways to a healthier life. I love this wording. It isn't about 5 ways to lose weight, or 5 ways to run faster, I love the vague open wording. 
Right now I'm overweight, I'm working on it, but I'm not in a healthy place. It is taking crazy hard work, but I'm getting there. I hit a major plateau and trying to figure out how to bust through it.
So my five steps that I'd like to take to get to my "healthy place" are:

Eat more whole foods. I really don't eat very many processed foods to begin with, but I think the more natural unprocessed foods I consume the better off I'll be. Knowing what is in what you're eating is a huge step toward fueling your body in the best way possible. By far the easiest way to do this is to prepare the foods yourself or eat foods straight from the source. My favorite way of doing that this fall has been apples and pears right from the orchards. Nothing beats freshly picked fruit.

Incorporate different types of workouts. I'm working on becoming a runner. I like to call myself a runner, but I don't think I'm actually there yet. In order to become the best runner I can be, cross training is going to be critical. I've been trying to add lots of elliptical workouts and other outdoor workouts too. Hiking has been a great activity in the cooler weather!

Strength training. This doesn't just mean pumping iron in the gym, but that is definitely part of it. I need to work my core. I think core strengthening will make me a better runner and will just make me feel more fit in life. Feeling stronger is a big step toward feeling healthy.

Find more time for sleep. Everyone knows that sleep is imperative to a good life, but so many of us slack in that department. It seems like it would be the easiest, and really most fun, way to make strides toward good health. I'm making it a definite goal to schedule in more snooze time!

Make a plan for you. You can't take steps toward getting healthy if you don't know what healthy means for you. I am certain that I will never be a size 2, but I also know that I can be incredibly fit. I can eat foods that fuel my system and conquer just about anything. Knowing how to get there isn't easy but making a plan and having smaller goals. I made the goal of running the Princess Half Marathon and taking the steps to get myself there. After I conquer that goal, who knows what it next...hopefully a triathlon or two!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

loving halloween-y pins

Since Halloween is just around the corner I would love to show off some of my favorite spooky pins this week. I love all of the inspiration that you can find for just about anything on pinterest and there are a ton of very fun fall and Halloween themed ones out there.


I love the vampire teeth in the mini pumpkins! They are seriously hilarious and adorable!

Source: via Erica on Pinterest

Love the happy fluffy ghost! It makes the perfect toddler costume.

I love the chalkboard painted stones...perfect.

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Love the cupcake costume! Except the girl looks super unhappy to be a cuppy cake!

Love the fun faced jack o lantern mason jars, such a creative fun idea!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

I seriously love the silly eyes on these mini pumpkins!

Fluffy chicken. Plus that little girl is too adorable for words.

Source: None via Rocio on Pinterest

Great idea! Poison apples :)

Source: via Anita on Pinterest

I'm not pregnant, but this is kind of hilarious.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

pumpkin pondering

This weekend my sister arranged for all of us to go pumpkin picking together, it was so much fun! It was perfect. The whole immediate family was there minus my brother in law who we missed terribly...but he was busily watching football...doofus!
Apparently the farm we went to is the same one my grandmother used to take us to when we were little. The only thing I remember about pumpkin picking with my grandmother was a terrible haunted house that terrified me! I didn't see the haunted house there today, I think they transformed it into their new farm stand so I had nothing to be afraid of!

Jess, my beautiful baby sister, and my mom. We got to the farm a bit early so we walked around and enjoyed some
coffee and cider donuts!

Jenn, Tom and Jaclyn. Jaclyn is only 10 1/2!! She has gotten so big in the past year. 

On the hayride out to the pumpkin patch. The three of them look so much alike!

Having tons of fun posing for pictures on the super bumpy hayride. It was crazy gorgeous outside.

Too gorgeous. Love her so much!

Picking a pumpkin takes a lot of thought! It is hard work for a 10
year old...

The Hawkes crew found a pumpkin!

Love these girls so much. I loved spending the day outside in the sunshine with them!

Michael found holding our pumpkin

Me lugging it around...

Jess found hers too

Finally Jaclyn found a pumpkin! She made sure to look at every single
pumpkin in the field.

Upon second thought...maybe that one we saw an hour ago would be a better choice....

The hayride was called the pumpkin express!

Oh hey...look...she has a pumpkin!

Monday, October 24, 2011

pictures are worth 1000 words

I haven't showed off any of my favorite photographers in quite a while and I think it's about time! I love looking at pictures and wedding pictures are by far my favorite. I swear I could hang canvases of any of these following pictures around my house and I don't know any of these people! I'm just so taken by wedding photography. There is something so lovely about it.
Today's photographer is Christina of Christina Carroll Photography. She's based out of Austin, Texas but available to travel anywhere. I love how she captures happiness. When you look at her pictures you can feel the love and joy that the subjects were feeling in that moment. These are just a few of my favorites, you can find many, many more on her website. All of these photos are property of Christina Carroll Photography and were found on her blog.

Love this moment...People love to watch the portraits and I love that she turned the camera around on them...

This one is definitely by far my favorite! Like no one else is there, they are just all about each other.