Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I'm Going to Fitbloggin'

Oh sweet baby goats! Fitbloggin’ is just around the corner and man, am I excited.

Last year I attended my first Fitbloggin’ conference (my first blogging conference period) and it was life changing. I know, you may be thinking that I am over exaggerating but I am not. That weekend, those people, what I learned (about myself and others and life) really shifted my perspective.

I mean look here- at my first post after the conference. I wrote that on the plane ride home and it perfectly captured how I felt (and still feel) afterwards.

It was amazing.

And in a week I get to do it all again.

And I know it will be awesome. Even though it truly sucks that some of my favorite people won’t be attending this year’s conference I am super excited to see both old friends and new and meet some more fantabulous people face to face for the first time.

It’s going to be ahhhhhhhh-mazing! Legendary, even.

Now last year, I was super excited about attending my first fitbloggin because I knew it would be such an incredible experience but also because it was held in Portland. In case you didn’t know, Portland is pretty much filled with all things vegan and home to like a billion amazing craft breweries. I was in heaven. I ate all the food and drank all the beer.  Which of course made my experience even more memorable ;)

This year, Fitbloggin is in Savannah, GA. I’ve been there once (twice if you count a quick two day stop) but living in the south I know what to expect.  And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I just know that life in Savannah is different than life in Portland.  There won’t be amazing vegan treats at every other storefront and too many breweries to visit in one trip.  (Yeah, Portland was awesome) BUT, there will be ghost tours, and amazing historic neighborhoods, and of course there will still be awesome foods (all the non-vegans will be in heaven) and there will be craft beers. Trust me, I am already planning out all the restaurants and breweries and bars I want to visit.

AND more importantly than all the eating and drinking (yes, I did just type that) there will be amazing group sessions and workouts and a million laughs (and knowing me, some tears) and so many of the best hugs you could ever receive. And it will be awesome.

I cannot wait to see my roomies, my friends, Roni (who is just amazing to watch in action) and create so many amazing memories.

And on that note- it appears that we will be ghost touring in style in a double decker hearse. BOOM! That’s just how we roll!

Man, where is my fast forward button? Can it just be June 25th already????

Some of my favorite pics from last year...
My favourite Brit, Sarah
I'm going to miss Dani soooo much. Thankful we got to see each other in February! 
Even if I explained it, it wouldn't make sense...
I am coming for more hugs, Steve!

Fitbloggin' won't be the same without Erika!
Love and hugs,

Monday, June 16, 2014

FMM: Sports Talk

If you’ve taken part in Friend Makin’ Monday (FMM) then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s questions on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: this way everyone over at Losing Weight and Having Fun can check out your responses. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to create your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts, too. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

1.       Are you following the World Cup? If so, which team are you cheering for?

Yes, I am. Or at least trying to catch coverage whenever I can. I am rooting for Italy (sorry Sarah) and, of course, USA.

2.       What is your favorite sport to watch either on TV or in person?

I love to watch pretty much anything, especially if it’s live. But I would have to say my two favorites would be hockey and baseball.

3.       Which local team (regardless of sport) do you support?

Pensacola is a small town so we don’t have any major league teams but we do have a minor league (SPHL) hockey team, the Ice Flyers, and they are awesome. They just won back to back Presidents Cup (their version of the Stanley) and I was fortunate enough to be able to drive up to Columbus, GA with E to watch them win the cup. It was pretty awesome.

4.       What is your favorite sport to play?

Although it has been awhile, I would have to say tennis is my favorite sport to play.

5.       Were you ever in a sport team?

Yes, I did. I played tennis, basketball, softball and soccer (for a very short bit) and was also on the track and field team.

6.       Have you ever traveled a long distance to see your team play?

Yes. Just this year I flew to Nashville to go to a Preds game, drove to Sarasota and Clearwater to see the Phillies in spring training, drove to Tampa for a Lightning game. I also attended two Ducks games in Anaheim, a Phillies game in Philadelphia, and (as I stated above) drove to Columbus, GA for an Ice Flyers game.  I’ve also seen a Red Sox game in Toronto, a Phillies game at Dodger stadium and endured football games in Buffalo during the winter to name a few.  Yeah, I love to watch live sports.

7.       Do you have a favorite stadium/sport venue you have been to?

I really liked Fenway and the Tampa Bay Times Forum but my favorite stadium hands down is Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

8.       What is your favorite food you associate with sporting events?

Soft pretzels. Nom! And before I was a vegan, hot dogs.

9.       Do you have a favorite sporting song?

The Ice Flyers play Chelsea Dagger as their goal song (same as the Blackhawks) which I liked long before it became a hockey song. Also, my high school fight song. It will always be my favorite. It was so funny.  I still remember it to this day.

10.   Is there a sporting event you would like to go to in another country?

Sure, I would love to go to any sporting event abroad but if I had to pick one- the Tour. Even after all the bs with Lance and all the others, the drugs, the doping, all the scandal, I would still want to go and watch the Tour de France.


Happy Monday!

Love and hugs,





Friday, June 13, 2014

The Real Stuff

Time to talk about the real stuff…

As of late, I have been somewhat overwhelmed (in a good way) with comments from friends about how happy I am and how happy they are for me. They see pictures of E and I together, or spend time with us, and see the love we have and this amazing connection we share. And they are happy. And I am happy. We are all happy. 

It’s a really good thing.

Some days I think back on my divorce and the events leading up to it. And I don’t mean to talk about this in any way that sounds like I am trashing Paul or making him out to be the bad guy. He wasn’t. Neither one of us was ‘the bad guy’. It was what it was, a marriage that just wasn't meant to be…for so, so many reasons.

And in the end (actually long before) we both knew it.  And we stopped trying to force it to work. And we ended things somewhat amicably. Somewhat. Enough for me to not have leftover anger or resentment or any of that crap.

Which is good.

And I learned a lot about myself; the person that I once was and the person I wanted to be, through the process.

I see myself then as a person with low self-worth and a terrible belief that I was an unlovable person. That I felt like I should have been thankful that anyone would even want to be with me.  And because of that I put up with a lot of shit (from myself and others) that I shouldn’t have.

Trust me; I didn’t walk away from that marriage blaming Paul for everything that had gone wrong. I owned up to my own stuff, too.

A few years ago I started to pull my life together. I found acceptance and self-love and came to (FINALLY) realize that I am a really good person, I am worthy of love (most importantly worthy of my own love) and that I needed to take care of myself first and foremost. I needed to start chasing dreams and living to my full potential. I was ready to start living life and in order to truly do so it meant the dissolution of my marriage.

And I have no regrets.

I believe 100% that I did what was best for me.  What needed to be done. And in the end, that is what I had to base my decision off of. Because I was losing myself. 

And I no longer wanted to be lost.

Now here I am. In another committed relationship and I am happy. Truly, unbelievably, sometimes sickeningly happy.

And it is not because Erick is great and Paul was horrible. Honestly this has nothing to do with either one of them.

I am happy because I was willing enough to make a really tough decision, one that was scary and foreign and could possibly have gone terribly wrong, in order to be able to love myself, to chase my dreams, to start being me even if that meant I did so alone.

I made the choice to make my happiness my priority.

And I know it sounds selfish. And it kind of was. But I was so lost. I needed to be selfish in order to find my way. In order to stand up for myself. To be strong. To be the person I wanted to be.

So, I made my happiness my priority and I set out to find the path I wanted to be on.  And that path has led me here- to a new phase of my life and into a new relationship. It’s young and still developing but it has strong roots and a sturdy foundation.

I am trying to embrace each moment, live life fully and love openly. It’s hard; I battle the (unsubstantiated and pretty irrational) fear of losing E. The fear of making bad decisions. The fear of never achieving my dreams. I think that sometimes I must feel this way because it has never been this good. I have never been this happy. And it would be terrible to lose any of this.

I have a lot of back and forth conversations (with myself of course) that ultimately end in me agreeing that really even if it all went to shit tomorrow it would have all been worth it. And knowing that is true helps allow me to chase my dreams and love someone completely and stop being so damn afraid.

Because I only have one life. This life. Right now.

And if I want to be a professor and live on a farm with 44 baby goats (have you seen this video??) and have a vegetable garden and brew my own beer then that’s what I will do. The only thing that can stop me from my dreams is me so I need to learn how to get the heck out of my own way and keep on working to make my dreams come true.

And hopefully, in the end I have a farm and a garden and a big fluffy dog and an awesome teaching gig and even a wonderful man to share it all with- sitting next to me in a big wooden Adirondack chair, telling me that he loves our perfect life.

But even if none of that happens, even if I don’t make each of those dreams come true, even if I end up alone I do know one thing for sure…

I will have an amazing life chasing my dreams. 

Love and hugs,


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Playing Catch-up

So…HI! How are you?

I know, I know- it’s been awhile.

Things have been crazy, but in the best possible way.

As you know, E and I have been traveling a lot lately and last week our travels (and my job) brought us to Orlando and Tampa for the week. It was sooooo much fun! I arrived in Orlando on Tuesday for a work conference. I did a lot of relaxing for the first few days I was there on my own. This included some shopping and a massage. I also was able to meet up with one of my favorite people on planet earth for a few hours before Earrived- that was awesome. After Erick got into Orlando we hit Downtown Disney- went bowling at Splitsville, rode in a hot air balloon- then we headed to Tampa where we went to Cigar City Brewery, ate dinner with Yummy Sushi Pajamas,  went to a Rays game, attended a post-game concert (WEEZER!!!) on the field, and then ended the trip by swimming with the manatees. I could write a whole post just on this trip but I won’t, not for now at least. Instead I will just share some pictures and move on to my next topic.


Working out….

I started T25 like a month ago. Rocked the first week- then went to Philly for a week and only got in one workout. Then I came back and rocked week 2 and then went away for a week and didn’t get any workouts in. Was planning to start back up this week, week 3, but never really got into the swing of things. So, I made a decision (mostly based on the fact that I might be able to get week 3 and some of week 4 in before I leave for Fitbloggin)to just start over from week1, day1 on June 30th. I will actually have ten whole weeks between June 30th and September 8th with no huge (out of the general area) travel plans. This will give me the chance to actually finish both T25 Alpha and Beta straight through- which I am guessing is probably how the program wasintended to be completed.

So, what am I going to do between now and June 30th workout wise? Well, I snagged Les Mills Combat last week during a hugeBeachbody sale so I think I will try out some of those videos in the morning and maybe even get back on the spin bike too. I have been going to the gym after work trying to get back into the swing of running, which E and I were doing 2-3 times a week regularly, and build back some of my endurance because…

I signed up for another half marathon.

Well, more importantly – I agreed to join a group to run the Ragnar Relay- Cape Cod in May of 2015 and I need to get back into running regularly and training so I decided it was time for another half marathon. Training for the half (the Pensacola Half Marathon 11/9/2014) won’t really begin until mid-August BUT I need to make sure I have a good base built up before I start training again. My goal is 3-4 runs per week through the summer. Nothing too crazy, just enough to get me used to running again. Yesterday I decided to test out my legs/lungs to see where I was by seeing how fast I could run a mile. I was aiming for somewhere in the 8s (like 8:59) but I still surprised myself with a 9:16 mile. I don’t expect to be running sub-30 minute 5Ks anytime soon but I am hoping that this go around I will be able to get a little bit faster and feel a little bit stronger through my training. I think that T25 through the summer and then maybe some boot camp (or combat) in the fall will help with that too. I may be physically the smallest I have been in a really long time but I am definitely not the strongest (which isn’t surprising because of the surgery and downtime) and that is something I really want to focus on.

Some other things I lost post-surgery were my flexibility and stability, both of which come in handy for almost any activityespecially running. So I am going to start doing yoga again. Starting today. The university has a yoga class (actually taught by one of my co-workers) on Thursday evening so I am going to check that out. I also signed up E and I for a gentle beginner’s yoga class on Sunday. Since it has been at least 6 months since my last yoga class I wanted to start off in a beginner’s class having no idea where my skill level would be right now.

That’s where I am on the exercise front. On the weight front….well, I have a whole lot of beers and (veggie) burgers I need to burn off. Let’s just say I am more than happy to be home and back in the kitchen cooking my own meals. I love being able to eat out (who doesn’t) but doing it every meal, every day gets old quick. This week have been doing a good job preparing dinners at home, packing my lunches and drinkingsmoothies for breakfast. I have been trying to limit the amount of TV I am watching (although Orange is the New Black sucks me in almost daily) and get some extra movement in around the house/yard when I can. It’s all about getting back to my healthy habits, not beating myself up too much over my ‘indulgences’, setting realistic goals and focusing on what I really want out of this life. I know I have another travel week coming up soon but after that I have ten weeks at home so I plan on making the most of that time. Both my body and my mind could use a little break from the whirlwind ~ I am so ready for just being normal for a while :)

Love and hugs,

Monday, June 2, 2014

FMM: Next!

If you’ve taken part in Friend Makin’ Monday (FMM) then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s questions on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: this way everyone over at Losing Weight and Having Fun can check out your responses. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to create your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts, too. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!


1.       What is the next movie you want to see?

I don’t really watch too many movies. At least not as many as I’d like to. I don’t really know of any movies I want to see right now. Maybe Chef? That looked good. Oh, and I know it’s not a movie but one thing I am really looking forward to is the new season of Orange is the New Black. I am watching it a second time so that E can get caught up and we can watch season 2 together. We are about halfway through and watch an episode whenever we have time. It’s fun having a show we can watch together.

2.       What is the next book that you want to read?

Currently I am reading the new Emily Giffin novel The One and Only and it is terrible and predictable and I really am not loving it but I am about a third/halfway through and I just want to finish it and move on. Next up is either The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan (a recommendation from my best friend) or Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich (my guilty pleasure novels)- that all depends on when I finish the book I am currently reading.

3.       What is the next trip/vacation you are going to take?

Tomorrow I am driving out to Orlando for a work conference. E will be joining me out there Thursday night and then we are heading to Tampa for the weekend. We are going to be touring Cigar City brewery, catching a Tampa Bay Rays game which is followed by a Weezer concert, hanging out with friends and snorkeling/swimming with manatees- it’s going to be awesome!

4.       What is the next restaurant you want to try?

There is a new restaurant set to open sometime this summer in downtown Pensacola- Khon’s. It’s dubbed as Southeast Asian cuisine. The menu looks fantastic and talking with one of the owners he told me how they are really going to try and offer a lot of veg options to traditional non-veg dishes such as pho and bhan mi. I am super excited to try it out.

5.       What is the next workout you are going to do?

T25- total body circuit. Tomorrow morning. First day of week 3!

6.       What is the next task you are going to complete?

Not 100% sure what you would define as a task but I do have an eye exam this afternoon and I will be picking out new glasses. Does that count? Also, packing later tonight- that’s definitely a task.

7.       What is the next hobby you want to try?

Well, I just took up gardening as my new hobby and I am still working at it. I have to start building the second raised garden bed as it will be time to plant soon. I think that my focus right now is just the gardening (and school, and work, and T25, and moving/traveling, and being a girlfriend) but the next hobby I would like to try (maybe sometime in September/October as the weather cools) would be home brewing. Is anyone really surprised by that?

8.       What is the next big event you will attend?

Well, technically the next big event I will be attending is the work conference this week but I doubt you want to hear about that. So, I will instead tell you that the next big event I will attend (for fun) is Fitbloggin’! In just a little over 3 weeks I will be heading over to Savannah to attend my second Fitbloggin’ and I am beyond excited! I had just the most amazing time last year and I am so looking forward to this year’s conference.

9.       What type of animal do you want as your next pet?

In a perfect world, I would have unlimited time, money and acreage and I would have both indoor pets (dogs for sure) and outdoor pets (alpaca, sheep, goats) but sadly that isn’t on the horizon any time soon. I would like to one day, maybe after I finish my doctorate and begin teaching, buy a lot of land and have a farm and a huge vegetable garden. That’s pretty much my end goal. And I get very excited when I pass by houses in Pensacola that have goats because that means I could do all of that and not have to head out to the country. For now, I will settle for my house with E and our little garden and maybe one day- a pet of our own.  

10.   What is the next topic you would like to see on FMM?

I am sure it has been done before but maybe a top ten of blogs/websites. Like favorite site for recipes, motivation, etc.