Thursday, April 29, 2010

A minor setback

So I had a minor setback in my running plan.  I started feeling a lot of medial knee pain in the knee I most recently had surgery on when I got halfway through my 2nd week of running.  I tried brisk walking one of the days I was supposed to run, but it was still really painful.  I was dying to use my new running shoes that I got last week and this was not helping me do that! 

Then last Friday while I was at work, I noticed that it really flared up.  As in, I was nearly limping by the time I got home from work and I was super crabby from the pain.  I thought it was just due to the fact that I was running my ass off all day at work.  I iced my knee that night and decided to take it easy all weekend (which was easy to do since it rained both days) and keep icing them.  It seemed to work and by Sunday night I was feeling like I could go back to running on my next day off. 

Enter Monday morning at work.  My knee felt fine for about the first 2 hours or so and then that same medial pain came back.  I wasn't even walking as much as I had on Friday.  Granted, I did have a "princess" patient that kept me on my toes, but it still wasn't as much walking as I did on Friday.  I started thinking that maybe it was the shoes I was wearing at work.  Merrill clogs.  I have been wearing this type of shoe at work for the last year or so, but recently got a new pair and that seemed to be when the knee discomfort increased.  Couple that with a new running routine, and I think I found the culprit.  I iced my knee that night and by morning it was feeling good again.  I decided I was going to wear the Nike Shox that I had with me at work on Tuesday and see if it helped.  In fact it did, and I had ZERO PAIN all day!!!  Amazing!

So now that you've read way more about my knees and shoes than you ever wanted to, let me get to the point of this story.  So I went back to my running plan today.  I figured since I had taken a little over a week off from running, that I should start back at the beginning and see how my stamina was.  I wore my new running shoes (which are heavenly) and got all the way through it without dying.  It was better than starting the first time, but I'm glad I did that first workout was still tough and I don't think I could've gotten through the Week 2 run today. 

I made sure to stretch REALLY well after my run....something I don't think I was doing well enough before, which could've contributed to the pain.  And now I'm sitting on the front porch cooling off, sipping water, and icing BOTH of my knees (just for good measure).  Hopefully this will get me back in the swing of things.  I still have 20 pounds to lose and I haven't lost anything since I started this journey.  Well, I had lost 3 pounds, but gained it back when I took my hiatus from running. 

Wish me luck and say a little prayer that my knees get stronger.  Happy running!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


So on April 7th I started quite a new journey for me.  I had read about the Couch to 5K program online and then a nurse I work with was talking about that she did it to lose the last of her baby weight after having her twins.  It's a 9 week program for people who aren't runners or haven't run in awhile.  The goal is to get you off the couch and able to run a 5K or 30 minutes in 9 weeks.  You're supposed to run 3 times per week with a day of rest in between each run day.  After reading some motivational stories of people who were obese and had completed this program, I decided to give it a go. 

Keep in mind my knees have been terrible since I was about 14 years old and it's been about that long since I've run anywhere (unless I was being chased)!  I won't take you through the program week by week (you can check out the site if you're interested), but I will say that the first week consisted of a 5 minute brisk walk to warm up and then alternating 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of brisk walking for a total of 8 runs and then a 5 minute cool down walk.  I was really unsure if I could even JOG for 60 seconds straight without dying or my knees giving out.  I decided just to take it slow and not to push my knees too much and listen to my body.  I'll admit, the first day of my training was hard as hell!!!  I wanted to quit many times during that workout, but it was just me being out of knees weren't in pain at all!  I pushed through and was so proud of myself when I was done! 

My motivation for keeping up with the journey is to a) lose 20 pounds before getting pregnant and b) the theory that if I strengthen the muscles that support my knees that they will be more stable. 

I am on Week 2 Day 2 of this training and started to feel some pain behind one of my kneecaps last night and this morning.  After talking with some experienced runner friends today, I have decided that it is best to not do my run today and do a bike ride instead to rest my knee.  I will still get my cardio, but much less impact.  I was planning on going to a runner's store on Tuesday anyway to get fitted for new running shoes and I think that might help my pain.  I'm pretty sure my 2 year old Shox aren't the best thing for a girl with bad knees to be running in.  The place I'm going will analyze how my foot moves when I walk and run and my stride to find the best shoes for me!  Yay!!!  I know this will probably be pricey, but it's got to be worth it! 

I can't believe I'm really going to put this out there for the public to view, but I think it will help keep me motivated and accountable.  My weight the morning before my first run was 150.4 pounds (the heaviest I've ever been in my life).  UGH!  Like I said, I would like to lose 20 pounds to be at a healthy weight for me before getting pregnant.  I'll keep posting my progress with my weight and my training! 

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holy Candles, Batman!

I have (another) new obsession.  Candles.  Well I have always loved candles and having yummy ones burning in the house that reflect the season, my mood, etc.  However, I've come across a new company that I'm simply in love with.  I used to think Yankee Candle was the end all, be all of candles.  Ohhhhhhh was I wrong!

I'm pretty active on YouTube in the makeup/beauty community and several girls on there started raving about a candle company called Candles By Victoria about 9 months ago.  I went to her website and was completely blown away and overwhelmed at the same time.  At the time, she had over 500 scents and I didn't even know where to begin!!  Anyway, to make a long story short.....I placed an order with her and was completely thrilled with the scents I got, her customer service, the fast shipping and great packaging.....and THE BEST PART.....her candles are TRIPLE scented, so they have a ridiculous scent throw and last so much longer than said Yankee company!  They are truly fabulous!  Nine months later, I'm getting ready to place my 4th order.  She now has 570 scents and I have found through trying about 60 scents so far that her Blueberry Cobbler is my absolute favorite!  I cannot get enough of this heavenly scent!  I wish there was a body lotion to go with this because I'd love to smell like this all day long!  She has these cute little things called "Scent Shots" that are basically 2 oz tarts that you can melt in a tart warmer.  I love to get these when I'm not sure if I will like a fragrance to "try it out" before committing to a larger candle.  They are only $1.95 and I can get about 5-7 days of melting these for 12 hours or so out of each one.  A great value, if you ask me!  Where was I going with this???  Oh yeah....I got Blueberry Cobbler in my last order as a scent shot and have GOT to get it in the largest candle possible with this next order!  It's pure heaven!  The other nice thing about her scent shots is that you can cut them in halves or quarters and then mix and match with other scents to create your own combos.  Victoria then offers a "Create Your Own Scent" candle where she will mix any 2 scents you want together and you get to name it and pick the color.  I could go on and on about these candles forever......  Can you tell?

Here are some pictures of my last order
Some of my favorite scents that I have tried so far are:
Blueberry Cobbler (of course)
Raspberry Guava (her raspberry scents are so dead on for a juicy raspberry...not fake at all)
Apricot Crumb Cake
Cherry Fizzy Pop (smells JUST LIKE Cherry 7UP....carbonation and all)
Maui Luau
Vanilla Grapefruit
Orange Vanilla (just like a dreamsickle)
Blueberry Cheesecake

Also, I've become an active member on her message boards and the girls on there are so helpful about reviewing scents and helping you to decide what to get!

Oh!  And Victoria also includes a random free scent shot with EVERY order.  This is a great way to try different scents and I've found a few that I love by getting a free scent shot of it.  Just go check her out....Candles By Victoria

Friday, March 12, 2010

Another First...OAMC

So I decided to try my hand at Once A Month Cooking.  I LOVE to cook, but with my work schedule and a hubby who's clueless in the kitchen (clueless might be an understatement), having some frozen meals to pop in the oven sounded like a splendid idea to me.  And something Matt might even be able to handle.  (I'm PRETTY sure he knows how to turn the oven on now.)

Last night I made a menu of meals I wanted to make for the month and then made a grocery list of all the items I didn't have.  I headed to the grocery store this morning (coupons in hand) and got everything I needed for $101.34.  That also included laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, tissues, hand soap, etc so I don't think that was too bad considering these meals should last us close to a month. 

It was truly an all afternoon process and I didn't get 2 of the things made, but I'm planning on finishing those off tonight.  Here's the things on my menu of meals and links to the recipes I used:

Southwest Chicken with Chipotle Cream
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Peach Dump Chicken
Creamy Lasagna  **this recipe was from my sister so I don't have a link**
Potato Pierogie Lasagna
Banana Bread
Breakfast Burritos

I still have to make the Pierogie Lasagna and Breakfast Burritos tonight, but here are pix of the others.
Creamy Lasagna (ready to go into the freezer)
King Ranch Chicken Casserole (can you tell I love black olives?)
Southwest Chicken with Chipotle Cream (got covered with shredded cheese before going into the freezer)
Peach Dump Chicken (obv still marinating)
Sour Cream Banana Bread (by FAR the BEST BEST BEST banana bread EVER!!)
I want to eat this stuff every day of my life!!!  If you like banana bread, you HAVE to check out this recipe!  Seriously the most moist, sweet, delish banana bread I've ever eaten!  I even love the ends of the loaf, it's that good!!!  I will never use another banana bread recipe again!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yum in the Tum

I adore cooking!  I love trying new recipes and, of course enjoying my creations!  Tonight I tried a new recipe that I've been wanting to try for awhile.  It's a basic crescent roll "ring" that can be filled with many different things.  Tonight I made a "Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Ring."  It was soooooo deeeeelish!  I had 2 helpings...I couldn't resist.  The great thing about these "ring" recipes is that you could pretty much fill it with anything you wanted.  You could even make it sweet and a dessert ring instead of savory.  Some other variations I'm wanting to try are a Taco Ring, Cherry Cheesecake Ring and a Chicken Club Ring.  Here's the recipe I used tonight:

1 1/2 c. cooked chicken or 1 lg can of chicken
1 c. chopped broccoli (I used frozen)
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c. shredded cheese
3/4 c. cream of broccoli soup
S&P to taste
2 tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350.  Lay out crescent roll triangles to make a "ring" or "sun" shape with the points pointing out.  (I used a round baking stone, which really works well.)  Mix all of the other ingredients together.  Spoon filling around the inside of the ring.  Fold the points over the top of the filling and tuck down tightly.  Bake for 35-40 min until bubbly and golden brown. 

**The original recipe also called for 1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper and 1/2 c. chopped spinach.  I didn't have either one of these on hand.  It also called for 3/4 c. cream of chicken soup, but again, I was out of that, so I used the cream of broccoli because it's what we had.**

This will be a staple recipe in our house!  Matt is out tonight at the Big Ten bball tourney, so I was the only one home to eat this.  I'm sure he'll like it when he gets home though too!  Hopefully it reheats well.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

29, the Sequel

Doomsday has finally come.  It had been slowly creeping up on me for quite some time now, but it showed up a lot sooner than I was ready for.  Today is the dreaded 30th birthday for me.  UGHHHHHH!

When you're 21, 22....even 23, you're so excited for your birthday to come.  To turn another year older, maybe even wiser.  You want the whole world to know it's your special day.  You want a million friends to get together and celebrate.  Go out, eat, drink, party.  I'm here to confirm that is definitely NOT the case when you turn 30!  I'd rather just have no one remember that this year I enter a new decade.  It's still nice to hear "happy birthday" from family and friends, but I could do without the 30 part.  I prefer to call this new year "29, the Sequel."  YIKES!  

30 just sounds like a whole new level of responsibility and maturity.  Not that I don't consider myself responsible and mature, but 30 sounds like I should be doing something differently.  Have most things figured out in life.  I feel far from that.  Anyway, enough rambling about this dreaded day of mine.  Here's a  photo of myself today to remember this day by.  

All in all, I really have had a good day.  It's nearly 70 degrees today (the warmest of the year so far) and sunny.  I had a great lunch with Matt, my mom and Richard.  And Matt even went with me to buy a new MAC lipstick after lunch.  I'm about to go take a walk around the neighborhood with Mimi and Matt.  I guess I'm truly blessed and love my life, even if it has taken me 30 years to get to this point.  Good things are always worth the wait.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My First Time

So here it is.  My first attempt at being a "blogger."  Ha!  We'll see how it goes.  I'm new to this, so bear with me. 

What's my motivation for starting a blog, you ask?  Aside from my new addiction of reading other people's blogs and wanting to join in, I am trying to become more shopping savvy.  A Coupon Queen, if you will.  I have found many blogs on this topic of coupon clipping/organizing/item stockpiling/etc. and really wanted a place to keep all of that info handy and organized.  I wanted to be able to refer to my favorite blogs about coupon blabber and my sister & friends' blogs quickly and easily.  VOILA!  Here I am...ready to join in on the blogging fun.

I make no promises that this blog will be witty and interesting right off the bat.  But hopefully in some time I will get there.  And who knows, it might end up being a resource for someone else in the future.  There is really no rhyme or reason to my method/madness with this blog at the moment.  I'm hoping to fall into some sort of routine of posting topics.  I dunno.  Honestly.