Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More Candy = Faster Running.

Don't quote me on that title. I'm sure in reality, faster running = chia seeds and great genetics. Whatever. Apparently if you take a rest day AND eat a family sized bag of conversation hearts in the same day (15 servings my ass) you'll have lots of energy to tackle a run the next day. It's basic science. An extra thousand calorie in pure sugar is bound to have an impact on your run.

Exhibit A: One bag of candy, eaten in 24 hours-

Turns into 7 miles which are pretty speedy (for me) -

Was I happy after the run? In a word:

I also got an awesome package and now the mailman thinks I'm a super runner. A while back I missed out on running the Rock N' Roll Miami Half, but Amanda managed to find someone to run with my bib. And by someone, I mean some speed demon who managed to get 3rd place in the 18-24 age group.  

My favorite part is that it has the award title right on the front of the box, so everyone at the post office now thinks I'm really fast. I like it.

Don't worry - I'll send it on to the real runner. Just as soon as I take a good picture with the plaque and post it on Facebook.

Do you think food affects your running performance?
I know that in theory a lot of junk food ought to slow me down, but I swear a nice hefty dose of sugar always gives me energy for a good run. That, or something in my body feels the need to burn off said candy. Either way, win-win. 

How far are you willing to drive for a good run?
I'm thinking about driving to Chattanooga (about an hour) to run on a really pretty, flat, pedestrian friendly riverfront path this weekend. Does that seem ridiculous? I think my new theory is you have to run at least as long as you drive. So as long as I run for 2+ hours, it all works out.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekly Recap, Sushi and Candy for an Upset Stomach

Blah, blah, blah...here's my weekly recap. I don't know any new ways to segue into talking about it. I basically do this to keep accountable to MYSELF. When I'm relaxing on the couch and consider taking an unscheduled rest day, I remind myself that I will have to put "was a lazy bum" on the recap and that motivates me. Whatever works, you know?

Monday: Ran 4 Miles
Tuesday: Rest - Sick!
Wednesday: Rest- Sick!
Thursday: Ran 5 Miles
Friday: Ran 8 Miles
Saturday: 30 minutes of spinning, 25 minutes of abs, push-ups, planks, dips, etc.
Sunday: 15.5 Mile Run

Total Weekly Mileage = 32.5 Miles.
I definitely want to be topping 40 miles each week soon, so I am going to try to slowly build to that over the next couple of weeks.

The lovely Ralcony asked me yesterday how I had any energy after a long run. The short answer? I don't have any. At all. Ever. After yesterday's 15.5 mile long run I barely managed the 40 minute drive from home, showered, ate and then decided to see if it was ACTUALLY possible to mold the couch around my butt. Turns out I wasn't able to, mostly because I moved from the couch to the bed for a 2 hour nap.

I did have the energy to go for sushi though,  because I had already made plans to meet up with a running buddy, her husband and some of their friends for dinner. We went to a Japanese Steakhouse called Fuji and hubby got to see his first Hibachi-style performance. I don't know who was more impressed - him or the 3 year old at our table who practiced his own moves with an eggshell and his spoon. Too cute.

Even though everyone else in our group got hibachi Tim and I were not passing up their deal of 50% off sushi on Sundays. I'm confident, however, that no one truly feels full after eating raw fish and rice, especially not on a long run day. So we headed over to the grocery store to get our first seasonal candy for the year! A bag of mini eggs for Tim and a bag of conversation hearts for me.

I also spotted some ginger candies I used to eat when I lived in Hawaii. I think they are the perfect thing to eat after a meal - a little sweet and a little heat. Plus, I figured the way my stomach has been recently a little ginger couldn't hurt the situation.

Do you keep track of your workouts each week? Is it to keep you accountable, to share with others or just to reference later?
I keep track of everything here and on Daily Mile. I like the accountability a lot, but it's also important for me to see my mileage to see where I made gains, when I had injuries and things like that. 

Do you have any seasonal candy favorites for Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas or Halloween?
I'm pretty sure I'm just a sucker for good marketing because I love seasonal stuff. Conversation hearts are tops for Valentine's Day, then mini eggs at Easter and who can resists candy corn at Halloween?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

16 Miles, Dancing and Pecan Pie

Yesterday was the birthday party of a friend of mine, but her husband sent a text to my hubby about it and for some reason it seemed cryptic. Yes, I'm paranoid, but I kind of thought maybe it was a surprise party and I would ruin it by calling her up and asking what to bring to the barbecue. That's definitely something I would do.

Anyway - nothing cryptic. He's a man of few words and it was just a number we didn't have. But still, I figured I better bring a bunch of stuff to the party just to be on the safe side. P.S. I'm just letting everyone know how awesome of a party guest I am so more people invite me to parties. I bake brownies! I bring beer! I bring bottles of wine as a gift!

I made two massive batches of homemade brownies to take along. Ugh, fine. I mixed up the batter from two boxes. But I put it into the oven all my myself. Hubby helped a little with cleanup:

If by cleanup you mean licking the spoon and then asking for a "refill".  I reloaded the spoon full of gooey brownie batter since he asked so nicely. 

Anyway, we went to to a barbecue. I ate what I believe to be kind of a sad portion for dinner - two ribs, a piece of corn on the cob, a handful of shrimp and a little piece of bread. I was heading back for seconds but then realized that as good as all the food was (and it was GOOD!) nothing would be as tasty as a bunch of dessert. So brownies and pecan pie it was. Some of the younger kids were making s'mores out back in a bonfire and I snuck out to make one of those too.

After the barbecue the birthday girl really wanted to see a live band playing in a local bar/restaurant called the Dalton Depot, so we loaded up and I got hammered on, um...diet cokes. I figured if I had to get up at 5am to run it better be worth something so I was the designated driver. We danced, we sang along to old Southern rock songs and I felt like an awesome hillbilly and loved it. 


What I did NOT love was waking up at 5 this morning with a raging soda hangover (is that a thing?) and being greeted with the coldest morning in over a year. I took a phone picture in the car because I couldn't believe it was 22 degrees in Georgia. Seriously? Not a fan. 

A slow and unhappy 15.5 miles was what I got this morning. Happy to have company but on days I feel badly I kind of hate the feeling that I'm slowing people down. Oh well, I guess it works both ways. Everyone has a bad run day, right?

Are you a fan of live music? Best concert you've ever been to?
I love listening to live music, but it's about a million times better if I know the lyrics. I love singing along! So I prefer listening to cover bands a lot of the time because they sing a bunch of hits that I know the words to. On Bourbon Street in New Orleans a bunch of the bars had cover bands that I thought were fantastic.

Would you rather run in cold weather (below freezing) or hot weather (above 80 degrees)?
I would rather run in a breezy, climate controlled area where the weather is always 55 degrees, but since that never happens...I think cold is better. As long as I'm bundled up!

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Friday Run in Numbers & Atlanta Blogger Meetups!

Want to see my run today in number? I knew you did! So convenient.

8 - Number of miles managed today for my run.

3- Immodium needed to make that run possible.

1 - Number of stops I still needed to make halfway through. Dang generic brand.

2 - Friends I got to run with. 

17 - Times I regretted running on the treadmill so much. Running outside is a billion times better.

19 & 30 - Ages of my running partners. How awesome is it that a college student, a stay at home mom and little ole me can all have so much in common? Running!

16 - Miles we are planning to run on Sunday morning. 

5 - Time I will have to wake up on Sunday morning for said run.

1 - Sushi date planned during the run.

11 - How happy I was, on a scale of 1-10,  to have hubby make me an awesome dinner tonight. Thanks!

I would add up all those number and do something cool with it but I'm fresh out of ideas. You can have this random photo outtake gem instead of thought provoking content today:

Oh, man. Outtakes are fun. You're welcome.

I wanted to ask those who are planning on being in Atlanta for the Publix Georgia Marathon on March 18th if they have any suggestions for meetups. If anyone is interested, I'll be staying at the (stalkers please stop reading now!) Days Inn in Downtown Atlanta. It's the cheapest place I could find that's still less than a half mile from the start AND from the expo.

If someone wants to volunteer to help me put iron bars on the window that would be awesome. Turns out that $60 for a Saturday night in downtown Atlanta doesn't guarantee safety. Weird.

I was kind of thinking anyone who was interested could get lunch or dinner close to the expo the day before the race (so the 17th - St. Patty's Day!). Anyone have any input? I think it's best if we go somewhere walkable in the area, as I know a few people will be visiting without cars.

By the way, if you feel like joining in but aren't running the race, still let me know! I'm excited to meet some Atlanta peeps too. I promise not to wear all green and embarrass you. Probably.

How would you plan the ultimate running blogger meetup? Stereotypes encouraged.
First we would all run 7 miles at a "fun" pace while proclaiming how awesome running is. Next up, salads covered in 24 different ingredients. Fiber! Then eat back all the saved calories by consuming giant frozen yogurts, taking closeup portraits of each topping. I promise I'm not making fun of anyone here. That genuinely sounds like an awesome day to me.

Have you met any people through running you might not otherwise be friends with?
Most definitely. Just recently I've been meeting tons of runners in my area who I'm sure I would have nothing in common with otherwise - especially moms. Nothing against moms, but generally those with young children I don't have a TON in common with. But running is the common bond and I love it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sprinting to the Bathroom - The New Speedwork!

So...here's the thing. I've been sick lately. And I don't mean, "pass me the Kleenex" sick, I mean "don't make me walk more than 4 feet from the toilet" sick. I really should not have to add more to that description, I'm sure you all know what I mean.

So working out is...a challenge. Never before have I more appreciated that treadmill. If you follow me on Daily Mile, you'll know my Monday night run took a little longer than it should have. Mostly because I ran about 2.5 miles, and then added in a sprint interval to the bathroom. Speedwork! Oddly enough, I actually felt like hopping back on the treadmill to finish up 4 miles. After that, my life has been mostly this:

Ok, fine - and some of this too:

Crazy cat lady style! Yesterday my diet of plain potatoes (no skin) and saltine crackers was not doing it. Rest day was mandatory. Today I'm feeling better, maybe because now I'm including honey. Perhaps this is just because I feel like crap, but holy cow a gigantic spoonful of honey on each cracker makes Saltines taste amazing. Try it.

Overpriced organic honey. Ridiculously cheap crackers.
I have Googled this question a gazillion times, but I'm always curious - do you work out when you're sick? I tend to go ahead if it's a cold/headache type deal, but anything more than that it's bed for me. But somehow with the treadmill I feel like a run is okay as long as I have energy. Am I totally justifying the workout here or does that make sense?

Also, to those of who claim to never be hungry when you're sick - I don't get it. I keep complaining to hubby (typical for me) and the number one complaint right now is that I'm freaking hungry and don't feel like eating boring food anymore. I begged him for pizza and splurpees last night. If that doesn't scream "I need calories" I don't know what does.

This seems like a logical choice, right?

What's your philosophy on working out when sick?
I always tell people to "take a rest day, your body needs it!" but after one rest day I'm just anxious and need to get out some nervous energy. I'm about 99% sure I'll be running tonight. So do as I say I guess, and not as I do. 

Are you one of those people who isn't hungry when sick?
Obviously, no. Sad? Hungry. Happy? Hungry. Tired? Hungry. Sick? Hungry. I can't think of a scenario where I'm not hungry, except for maybe the 30 minutes after a run. But then I eat anyway because you're supposed to. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

I've been a little sick the last couple of days, which meant I couldn't do anything to celebrate Chinese New Year! It's been almost exactly one year since Tim and I left Hong Kong, and technically this is our second Chinese New Year to miss out on. I'll be honest and say that even though I lived in Hong Kong (and ergo, China) I did very little to actually celebrate.

Well, that's not true. I generally celebrated by going to a bar and getting drunk, but that's not really a special cultural experience so let's ignore that, shall we? To be completely honest, Chinese New Year to me was a chance to get time off work and get red envelopes full of money given to me by parents and people I worked for. All in all, a very good holiday. A+, Chinese New Year.

But I guess now that I don't have the opportunity to celebrate, I miss it. Go figure. So allow me one post to lament what I miss about Hong Kong, will you? I'll pretend it's because I want to celebrate the year of the dragon.

Dragon Boat Head in Mui Wo, Lantau
What I Miss About Hong Kong....

Genki Sushi: No joke. The loss of this sushi chain gets mentioned by Tim or myself at least once a week. They had a conveyer belt of fresh sushi and you just picked out what you wanted. I always got edamame, tuna nigiri and cucumber rolls.

Genki Sushi : Source

 Public Transportation: I think I'm getting into the swing of this driving everywhere thing, but I really miss the incredible public transport in Hong Kong. In order to get to work at one point, I took a bus, a ferry boat, walked 10 minutes and then took the subway - all in under an hour. The area I lived didn't even allow cars - which yes, made golf carts worth over $125,000 US!

Family and Friends: Ok, now I feel guilty that this isn't at the top of the list, but if any of you are reading this - you beat Genki, I promise! Of course I miss seeing family members each week and friends all the time.

My little brother Robert and I on the Peak in HK

The Beach: Again, I have to admit that I didn't actually go to the beach all that much, but I walked past it every day. Where my parents live (and Tim's mom) as well as where I lived for most of my time in Hong Kong is a place called Discovery Bay, and it is truly gorgeous:


And just to balance it all out so none of you jump the next plane to paradise, here's what I won't miss:

Class System: Now, I'm not foolish enough to believe that there is no class system in America. But in Hong Kong it is very obvious and at times, I honestly felt "western guilt". Many of the Filipino and Indonesian "domestic helpers" are treated worst, making lower than minimum wage and sending most of it home to their families. Then there are huge segments of the Chinese population with low incomes, although many have incredibly high ones as well. There are also plenty of Billionaires from around the world. But Westerners? You find me one that is broke in Hong Kong. People who live there for a long time almost seem to accept these classifications as fact, and I hated that.

Pollution: An hour from mainland China, so when the wind blows the wrong way, the city is polluted heavily and it is really disgusting. Every day when you check the weather in Hong Kong, you check the air quality level too to see if hiking outside is even a possibility. Tim has asthma and that just made it worse for him.


Unfriendliness: No, not everyone who live in Hong Kong is unfriendly. Far from it. But being such a huge, densely populated city makes it hard to be friendly unless you are directly introduced to someone.

So there you go. In case you were thinking about moving to Hong Kong, this should help. (You're so welcome, random reader who searched for this on Google! Every one else, thanks for humoring me.)

I'm thinking that since it's still Chinese New Year all week I'll have to buckle down and make some traditional foods that Tim and I enjoy - maybe some dimsum or char sui fan (barbecued pork and rice)!

Do you have any favorite Chinese foods? Anyone love going for dim sum?
Even though I lived in Hong Kong, I'll be the first to admit my knowledge is limited when it comes to Chinese food. I often stuck with the same few items. I do love dim sum though, and would do crazy picking out everything!

Warning: serious question. Do you think there is a noticeable class system where you live, or anywhere you have visited? How does it affect you? 
I hope this doesn't come off as incredibly privileged, but I want to address it. Almost everywhere that I have lived in my life, I (or really, my family) has been in the "upper social strata" I guess you could say. This is most noticeable when living in places like South Africa and of course Hong Kong. It has always bothered me that the other people with similar incomes/standings in these places are, well...white. I think the race issue is so much MORE noticeable away from the Westernized world. Thoughts?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nude Racing --No, Really!

Don't lie - all you care about is more information on the nude racing. Usually when you hear of risque running, it's more like this:

"Naked running, tee-hee!" = Didn't wear a Garmin. So naughy.
"I ran TOPLESS! OMG!" =  Just wore a bra. Inside. On the treadmill. In the basement.

So when I say nude racing, I mean it. But I'm making you wait for it. Sorry. First up, weekly recap:

Monday: Rest. Always a good start to the week, right?
Tuesday: Ran 6 miles on TM.
Wednesday: Ran 6 miles outside.
Thursday: 6 x 1 minute @10MPH running, circuits of planks, push-ups, jumping jacks, walking lunges
Friday: Walked 2 miles, 10 minutes of Yoga
Saturday: 30 minutes of spin
Sunday: Ran 15 Miles outside

That's right...I ran outside twice this week and loved it. Even though I have to drive over an hour (round-trip) to get to a safe place to run, it's really worth it. Plus, since I'm running a marathon in Atlanta I need to get VERY comfy with hills. Today's run:

Parked at Panera to meet up with the others planning to run and (duh) ended there too. Naturally had to run in for a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. Such a waste, really. I ate the whole thing in like 2 minutes before I even started driving home and I swear I didn't feel any more full. I don't have any pictures of the bagel because I was too busy scarfing it down, but if you aren't sure what a bagel looks like...let me know. I'll hook you up. 

Now I'm doing what I do best. Laying on the couch in a stupor. Awesome. 

I bought these compression socks around Christmas when my ankle was really bad, and I'm so in love with them. I'd never heard of the brand before but I definitely prefer them to the Tommie Copper calf sleeves I have. Just wish I picked a more fun color than black. 

Alright, alright - naked racing. So in April there's a race less than an hour from me called the Fig Leaf 5k. Description:

The pros of this race: it's a hilly trail 5k that is only $20, and all proceeds go to the Humane Society. Small race means greater chance of age group awards. Lots of door prizes. That $20 not only gives you a race, but also entrance to a resort for a day! Admittedly, the resort is a nudist one, but still. Plus, you get a free-shirt. To not wear. Ironic?

Cons: you know that awkward moment where you try to pass someone running on a trail? Now imagine they're naked. Yeah.....

Streaking - now it's literal.

I'm going to be honest, I'm totally intrigued by this. I'm no exhibitionist, but I think it would make for a pretty hilarious experience. If nothing else, the blog photos would be infinitely better that day. 

Would you ever run a nude race? What about if you were dressed and everyone else ditched their duds?
I think I'll let Tim answer for me on this one with a big no. If I could get him on board I think it would be awesome. I feel like a hippie, but now I kind of want to find some deserted trail to run on in the nude. Luckily my girls won't go anywhere, so there's that. 

Do you have any compression socks? Any brand you recommend?
These were pretty cheap compared to some others, which is why I picked them, but I'm wondering if they get better as you're willing to pay more? 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Close Your Eyes and Pretend...

Last night was spent refreshing Weather.com constantly in the hopes that the weather somehow magically transformed to awesome. I kept checking Facebook to see if my two running buddies for this morning were going to follow through even it was pouring with rain. I figured I would get wet and deal with it for 15 or 16 miles. When I woke up, I saw this for our scheduled run time:

Call me a baby, but in a thunderstorm with chances of a tornado? Thanks, I'm staying home. We are rescheduled for tomorrow morning at 7. So all of a sudden I had the morning free and plenty of rain. Hooray. I spent the day working so I was justified in registering for some upcoming races. That evens out, right?

I also focused on eating foods to pretend I was NOT in a thunderstorm and actually in a tropical paradise. First up: Chobani pineapple Greek yogurt. Not kidding, the stuff is like a pina colada. Next time I'm sticking it straight in the blender with ice and rum, thanks every much. 

Also on the menu - and by menu, I mean in my belly- clementines. I always think these are such a good deal in the grocery store but hubby and I go through a pack in a day or two so I think overall it might not be quite as affordable as I'm thinking it is. But still tasty, so they stay. P.S. Sorry for saying "in my belly." You know you just read that in a Scottish accent and have the sudden urge to watch Austin Powers. Just admit it. 

I just found out that Cuties brand clementines are one of the major sponsors for the Publix Georgia Marathon so that all ties in nicely together, doesn't it? It's almost as if I planned it that way. Almost. Oh, you were still wondering about that marathon? Crazy. If you are still interested in registering there are some more great deals thanks to their recent partnership with the Atlanta Hawks. Read here for the details, but basically if they kick some butt tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers, every point they win by is $1 off your registration fee between noon and midnight tomorrow. Just enter HAWKS at checkout. 

So basically, if they win by like 100 points the race will be free. That could happen, right? Actually, I have genuinely no idea about basketball scoring, teams or points. I know that an orange ball goes into the basket and some guys are tall. The end. 

*Edited to add: the Hawks won by 27 points - that is a serious discount guys! If you plan to register, do it today!*

Do you watch any sports regularly on TV? Are you as clueless about them as me?
I'm just really not interested. I like watching soccer and rugby sometimes if it's a big game, because I've played both those sports and understand the rules well. Everything else baffles me. American football especially! Just hoping for some good Superbowl commercials this year to make watching the whole thing worth it. 

What food/drink/alcohol beverage makes you feel like you're on holiday?
Anything with an umbrella in it usually does the trick, but so does watermelon and bottles of Corona with lime wedges. Yes. Just, yes.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Unapologetically Awesome

I have to preface this by saying - I know at least a little of me is narcissistic. I have a blog. I regularly post pictures of myself on said blog. I feel like what I have to say is interesting enough to force others to read. Ergo, narcissistic. Obviously I appreciate a little validation. Blogs = attention. You don't have to be a rocket scientist. With that said...

...have you ever gotten a compliment from someone and then immediately apologized afterwards? Or tried to downplay it as much as possible? I'm so guilty of this and it's so unnecessary. Especially genuine, kind compliments from people. Examples:

"Wow, you ran a marathon? That's amazing - you must be a great runner!"
"Oh, no, it's not that hard. And I ran really slowly. I'm definitely not a serious runner!"

"Vanessa, you look great in that outfit! Cute dress!"
"Ugh! Not at all. I look like a mess. I got it on sale. I don't know how to put on makeup."

I know this bugs Tim the most. He'll give me a sweet, sincere compliment and I'm too busy deflecting attention to appreciate the kind words. Blargh. I'm going to try to work on truly accepting compliments. Turns out people are kind of nice and want me to be happy. Fancy that!

Tonight I had limited time for a workout so I recruited Tim for a speedy, high intensity ass-kicking workout We pretended to be happy afterwards:

But let's get real. Posing for that picture was even exhausting. Feeling a little more like this:

The workout was only 35 minutes but it was probably the hardest I've worked in my life. I ran a grand total of 6 minutes on the treadmill - and only for a minute at a time. But the speed was in between 9.5 and 10.3 each time. My legs got to experience sub-6 minute miles and they loved it. Shame my heart would stop after longer than 1 minute at that speed.

Tim and I took turns running our little hearts out for a minute at a time, and then in between did push-ups, planks, walking lunges and crunches. Holy cow it was hard but I loved having a buddy. Thanks Tim! I know I only made it up to 10.3 on the TM because I like competing with hubby! ;)

Do you take compliments well? How do you deal with positive comments?
I rarely just accept them. I think the best way to react is just "thank you." I'm curious - do you always return the compliment? I feel like I do that too, but it's not as genuine if people just repeat it back to you!

Do you run faster/workout harder if someone is watching? Or if you're competing?
Oh, heck yes. If no one is watching I don't see any reason to push myself THAT much. But someone looking over my shoulder at my speed at the gym? WATCH OUT.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Red Ribbons and Celebrity Look-Alikes

Lately I've been keeping all of my runs on the treadmill to avoid a flare-up of what seems to be an injury that is (knock on wood) no longer too much of a problem. So when I got an invite to run a hilly course today with a friend, I was so ready to get outside.

But then it was 31 degrees as I started running and super windy. Let's remember for a second that 1) This is Georgia, and 2) I'm a wuss. 31 degrees to run is COLD to me. But it was a great 6 mile run and went by quickly thanks to good conversation. 

Stretching on the floor after I got home quickly turned into a Cuddle Fest 3000 with the cats and their favorite toy of all time, a ribbon.


I swear that every 3 or 4 weeks we buy them some new awesome catnip filled toy that is supposed to be the best thing ever, and then they go crazy for a plastic bag and a ribbon. I give up.

After my run I had one of the last Purefit bars I got sent last week. I got sent 10, so you can guess that they're not terrible if I ate one every day for the past week.

Great ingredients, but 3 out of the 5 flavors I wasn't excited about. BUT - the granola crunch and the peanut butter were really tasty. They are really chewy and soft. By the way, if anyone likes marzipan (I don't) the Almond Crunch tastes so much like it! I was hoping for a more fresh almond taste but there ya go. 

Also, have you guys heard that I'm basically a supermodel? I may have interpreted the comments wrong, ok...maybe I just kind of resemble a model/wannabe star/reality sellout name Courtney from the Bachelor. A few different people mentioned it to me so I had to check her out.


Deep down I want to be excited about this but from what I hear she has just about the most horrible personality on earth so...overall, not a win. While finding a picture of her online I read....


...that she is the winner! Something about her walking the Bachelor's dog in LA a few days ago? Not going to lie, I've never sat through more than 5 minutes of the Bachelor so I have zero opinions. I just kind of hope she wins so I can get recognized in public and work on my autograph. So excited.  

Are you a fan of the Bachelor/Bachelorette?
Nope. Although I did watch one whole season of the Bachelorette a couple of years back...I definitely prefer the version where there are 20 hot guys and only 1 girl to ruin my fantasies, thanks. 

Any celebrity look-a-likes?
People used to say often (about 6 years ago) that I looked like Lori Loughlin. Except they wouldn't say that, they would say, "Aunt Becky!" A couple of people have said Angie Harmon too, but I guess I don't see that one!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Advantages of Being Married to a Blogger: The Video

So the last video Tim and I did was so much fun I wanted to try another one. I got him to say a grand total of three words, people : "Hi, I'm Tim." So proud.

One day you guys have got to see these outtakes. Truly hysterical. Let's say there are lots of muscles and plenty of fist pumps. Seriously, don't ask. It took us a lot longer than it should have but was hilarious for every second.

If you can't see the video, it talks about the advantages (ok, and disadvantages) of dating or being married to a blogger.  I'm curious - if you are a blogger, what do your friends/family/spouse think about it?
Overall, Tim is definitely supportive. I think it makes him happy to see me happy, so everyone wins! And whatever he says in the video, he really does think it's awesome. Promise.

Anyone else put up a vlog before? I hosted mine on Youtube, any alternative suggestions? If you haven't tried one yet - what's stopping you?
I love to hear blogger's voices - if you haven't uploaded a video yet, give it a try. It's so much fun!

Monday, January 16, 2012

How to Build a House in 7,612 Easy Steps

Almost exactly one year ago Tim and I moved to Georgia to build our own house. When we arrived, the land we purchased looked like this:

Now, it looks just like this:

Not bad, right? Although Tim and I both had very little experience with building a home (and by very little, I do mean NONE).

I thought it might be interesting to see the various steps we went through over the last 12 months to build our dream home. Keep in mind that this post doesn't even BEGIN to cover it all. If you are super interested in this kind of thing, check out Tim's blog for more details.

First up - excavating the house site, getting rid of the brush and creating the house pad where we wanted to build.

Next, we plotted out the area for the foundation base on hubby's design for the house. It rained right before we laid the concrete, which meant an emergency shoveling session to clear out the space. The next day the cement was put down. 

Once the foundation was set, we got to the good stuff. The house was built with custom made and pre-built panels. Kind of like giant pieces of Lego. Both are equally challenging to me. 

The interior framing was next. Once it was finished we could begin to put on the roof panels, which again were pre-made to fit the design of the home and filled with soy foam insulation. 

After the roof was on, it was time to have the walls insulated one more time to make it an energy efficient as possible. Drywall went up and Tim and I spend a LONG time installing the cedar siding around the entire house. 

Along the way we dug a well, got electricity to the land and developed the sewage system. Thankfully we also got to move to the interior. Hubby spent days and days tiling the floors and laying down the bamboo floors in the other rooms. This is the part where I started working full time and did less and less with the house, while hubby took on more. 

Multiple trips to Ikea meant he could tackle the kitchen, turning this:

Into this:

And there you have it! So easy, right? All it takes is 12 months and your entire life savings. Nothin'. 

Would anyone be interested in a house tour of the completed space? I'm debating whether that's weird (my bed! my chair! my tv!) or awesome. Let me know!

Have you ever tackled a home build or remodel in the past? Do you ever want to in the future?
Obviously this was a first. I'll be honest and say I have no desire to do it again. Hubby, on the other hand, would love it. I bet if we had tons and tons of moolah he would want to do it all over again somewhere else.