Fitness, Food and Photography

Follow me on my road to fitness… Because it's all about the journey, not the destination.

I Lied …

5 weeks ago, I said I was back.  But apparently I lied.

I have a great excuse, though.  I promise!  ……I’ve started a new job.  (Yay!)

But it’s been hard trying to get used to the new schedule.

I have to leave the house earlier so I can drive farther, park in a garage 3 blocks away and walk up to the 5th floor of the building.  And leaving downtown at 5pm isn’t much easier.

I’m not complaining though.  Once I’m downtown, I really enjoy it.

And how can I complain when this is the view from my new office?

View #1

View #1 looking left

View #2

View #2 looking straight ahead

View #3

View #3 looking to the right

Yes, I said OFFICE!!  For the first time ever in my career,  I actually have an office.  With a door and everything!!  Yay!

So far, my favorite thing to do is walk around and explore downtown during my lunch hour.  (If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve already seen a few of these) …..

tennessee sign

One thing I love about downtown is the architecture.

gorgeous downtown door

Gorgeous doorways …..


Curious alleyways ….


Interesting angles ….

architecture 1

architecture 2

So many sights to see downtown.  That’s just a few of the many photos I’ve taken.

And there’s so much more where that came from!

So stay tuned.

Hopefully this time I can actually be back for real.

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Taking A Break…

Dear Blog,

I think we should take a break.

It’s not you, it’s me.

I need to focus on my studies.

Once the semester is over, I’ll be back!

Don’t forget about me!


Katie  🙂

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I Could Save A Life…

… in theory.  Why?  Because I am now CPR certified!!!  That was actually my first time going through a certification class.  Sure, the hospital taught us the techniques when we brought the babies home, but that was only infant CPR.  Now I am officially certified in adult CPR.  AND I know how to use the AED machine!  (which is super easy – just turn it on – it’s dummy proof!!)

cpr training

I was really kinda dreading the class, knowing I would have to practice on dummies, but it was fun.

What led me to sign up for the certification class, though, was the fact that when I went to register for my ACE Fitness test, I realized that I couldn’t even register for an exam until I had the CPR certification.  I knew I had to be certified before I took the exam, but I didn’t know I had to be certified before I could even register for it.  So I panicked.  I needed to find the closest class available.

cpr and aed trained

I had to wait another 3 weeks before the class was held.  I was so afraid that the test spots would fill up in the meantime.  I had already missed out on the closest exam date held in Knoxville.  I was already going to have to drive to Chattanooga to take the test now.

But now that it’s over, I am officially signed up for my ACE Fitness Test.  It’s just slightly less than 6 weeks away.  So I better get cracking!!!

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Weekend Recap: Unofficial Food Tour of Asheville

It’s been a crazy week and I realize I still haven’t told you about last weekend’s trip.  I started this post on Sunday night and never did finish it.  Better late than never, right?

Well, it just worked out that what started out as a business trip in Greensboro, NC, then ended with a kid-free night in Asheville, NC.

We dropped the kids off with the in-laws on Thursday.  They were excited about 2 nights with Gramma and Grampa, and we were excited for 2 uninterrupted nights of sleep!

The drive to Greensboro is about 4-1/2 hours.  It poured the entire way there.  This picture doesn’t do it justice, it was nasty.

fog on the mountains

By the time we made it to Greensboro around 8pm, we were starving.  And after that nerve-wracking drive, I was ready for a beer!

There was a restuarant across from our hotel called Tripps.  I’d never heard of Tripps before, but it clearly said ‘Tavern’ on the sign, and I was sold!  However, once inside, I asked what beers they had on tap.  There were only 4 beers on tap.  Two of which were Bud and Bud Light.  How can you call yourself a Tavern if you only have 4 beers on tap?!?!?  Thankfully there was Fat Tire.  It hit the spot!  And so did this burger!!


The next morning, I didn’t have to be at the meeting til 10am.  So I had plenty of time to hit the little fitness center in the hotel before grabbing breakfast.  I got in a quick 20 minutes on the elliptical, which felt really good.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been on an elliptical so I know I was working all kinds of different muscles.  That was confirmed when my quads and glutes were sore for the two days following.

hotel breakfast bar

The hotel had a really nice breakfast spread.  Hubby chose a bacon/egg sandwhich, while I got the open-faced egg-white and mushroom.  And we shared some fruit.


As soon as the meeting was over in Greensboro, it was time to hit the road towards Asheville.  That meeting started at 3pm.  We knew exactly where we wanted to eat lunch.  It’s my favorite place in Asheville.  Sunny Point Cafe.  Everything I’ve ever eaten there has been incredible.  The very first sandwich I ever had was chicken with brie and a raspberry mustard.  It sounds weird but it was amazing.  Unfortunately, that sandwich is no longer on the menu.

sunny point

But there plenty of other amazingly good options.


I started with a Weyerbacher Merry Monk beer, which was very tasty.  It reminded me of everything I drank in Helen, GA.  Definitely a Belgian-style beer.  My favorite!  🙂

weyerbacher beer.

Hubby had the fish tacos.  (of course)  He got them last time and loved them.

fish tacos

I had …. are you ready for this ….  a Fried Green Tomato BLT on a crossaint.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It was pure deliciousness.  And those fries were perfectly crispy.

fried green tomato BLT

The last and final meeting went splendidly.  You might even say it was the best enrollment meeting I’ve ever done.  Definitely the most fun.  We all sat around on physio-balls during the meeting.  I can honestly say I’ve never conducted a meeting on a physio ball before, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

When the meeting was over, we checked into our hotel and got ready for a night out on the town!

We are really bad at getting photos of ourselves taken.  I totally forget to hand my camera to a perfect stranger and ask them to take our photo.  And I completely suck at these self-portraits.


I just wanted to walk around downtown for a bit before going anywhere.  I love the downtown area.

First stop was LAB.  Lexington Avenue Brewery.  We went here last year and really enjoyed the food and the beer.

beer at Lab

But we didn’t order any food this year, even though this grilled cheese sounds pretty amazing ….

lab menu

Next stop ….  the Thirsty Monk.  I don’t even remember what I had here.  LOL

thirsty monk

Thankfully, our hotel was within walking distance.  🙂

The next morning called for a big breakfast.  Tupelo Honey Cafe was a block away.

tupelo honey

They start you out with a big fat homemade biscuit.  I could have eaten just the biscuit and called it breakfast.


But then they brought me the sweet potato pancake!!  Yeah, I had to take about 2/3 of that home in a box.  It was HUGE!!  But delicious.  Totally worth each and every carb I consumed.

sweet potato pancake

There were so many yummy things on the menu that I wanted to try.  Thankfully, they opened one in Knoxville so I can try it again soon!!

After breakfast, we walked around downtown, snapping photos and window shopping.  Here are just a few of my favorite shots:




There was a guy on a park bench feeding the birds.  They would all fly in, get some food then all fly back out together.  It was really cool to watch.

birds 2

All the walking and photographing made me thirsty.  We had time to hit only one more restaurant before heading out of town.  So we enjoyed a late lunch at the Asheville Brewing Company.

abc beer

We declared this to be the best beer we drank all weekend.  We’ll be going back there next year for sure!!

I ordered a veggie quesadilla while the hubs enjoyed a Nacho Libre burger.  I tried a bite of his burger and it was delicious!

quesadilla lunch

So that concludes our unofficial food and beer tour of Asheville.  Love that town.  I could walk around downtown all day long!

And now, after eating at Tupelo Honey Cafe and Asheville Brewing Company, I can honestly say I have more than one favorite restaurant in Asheville!!

As much as I enjoyed our short-time away, I was looking forward to seeing these little rugrats.


So we took them to park on Sunday for some quality time.  🙂

My 7-year old had fun feeding the ducks and birds.

ducks and birds

While my 2-year old enjoyed playing on the playground.


It was an awesome weekend.

Question of the Day:  Have you been to Asheville, NC?  If so, where is your favorite place to eat?  What should we try next time??

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28-Day Blog Challenge

I’ve decided to do a 28-day Blog Challenge, hosted by Katy Widrick.  (You know, because I have so much extra time on my hands).  🙂

So every day for the 28 days of February, Katy will make recommendations of things to do to your Blog.  You can view the 28 suggestions HERE.

Not only are there great prizes to win, but hopefully it will help me do some updates to the blog that I’ve been putting off doing.  Like a new URL and catchy name.  Every time I come up with a good one, I google it and realize it’s already taken.  Is it possible all the good blog names are gone???

Today is Day 1 of the Challenge.

So please keep checking back to see what updates I’ve done.  And please leave me feedback.  I would love to hear what you think!

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The Voices in My Head

I don’t know why I listen to them.  Or why I let them get me down.

(Just to be clear, the voices I’m referring to are those of self-doubt, self-loathing and self-deprecation. I’m not actually crazy.)

It was these voices that caused me to make a rash decision this weekend and withdraw from my classes.

“You can’t do this.”

But I hate failing at something before it’s even started.

“You don’t deserve this.”

I spent the whole weekend in a major funk.  It started on Friday night when I stayed up all night after a concert.  I was obviously sleep deprived.  I crawled in a hole that I had created for myself.  Once I was down, it was really hard getting back up.

“You’re not good enough.”

All of these tiny little voices keep repeating in my head.

“You are not strong enough.”

I’ve actually been through a lot the last 3 years with my dad passing away, taking care of his estate, then having a baby born 16 weeks early and spending four and a half months driving back and forth from the NICU to home to work. I look back and wonder how I made it through. Other people would comment that I was handling it so well.   What choice did I have?  When you’re in the middle of a crisis, you just power through.
But now I completely understand how Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome happens.  It’s not til after the dust has settled, or after the fog has lifted that you are able to look back at the event with open eyes.  That’s when the magnitude of the situation hits you.  It’s like a delayed reaction.

So why do I listen to these little voices??  Why do I let them get me down??

I am strong.

I do deserve this.

And I know I can do it!!

That’s not to say it won’t be hard.  And I know it’s going to take a lot of time.  But I’m prepared.  I’m ready for the fight.

So today I emailed my professor and called the school.  I asked them to reverse the withdrawal; that I’d had a moment of weakness and fully regretted the rash decision, and could they please put me back in the classes.

Good news!!  I’m back in.

And I do need to add — none of this would have been possible without my wonderful husband to support me.  He was actually the one who signed me up for the classes in the first place.  And he’s the one who convinced me that I can do it.   <—- so I can blame him when I actually fail, right?!?  I’m kidding.

I’m ready.  Bring it.

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Snow Day!!!

When the meterologists were predicting snow, I didn’t believe them.  You tend not to when you live in the valley.  Usually it’s only the higher elevations that get the snow.

weather map

Schools let out early.  My office closed early.  And everyone was on the road at the same time trying to get home.  The interstate was a mess.  (Thankfully I took the back roads).


I must admit …. normally, I am not a fan of the snow at all.  For one thing, it’s cold.  But also, us Southern folk can’t drive in it.  It really just makes a mess of everything.  But days like today make me giddy.  Why?  It’s Thursday.  And I don’t have a thing on my work calendar tomorrow.  So if this ices over, it could very easily be a 4-day weekend!!!  Now that makes me happy!!!  🙂


Within 30 minutes, my deck was covered.


The kids LOVED it.   Not sure who was more excited …  them or me!


This was Lucy’s first real snow fall.  At first, she wasn’t sure what to do.  But she quickly learned how to form a snow ball and then throw them at her brother!!


But he was throwing them at ME!

snow covered trees

That’s the view past my driveway.  A winter wonderland.  So pretty!


The sunset tonight was amazing.  This picture doesn’t do it justice.  The snow clouds were so thick, but you can see the yellow peeking through the edge of the cloud cover, just over the ridge.  To the left, the sky was so red.  It was gorgeous.  But it was a view to be seen in person.  Cameras do have limits and this was one of them.

Question of the Day:  Do you like snow?  What’s your favorite thing to do on a snow day??  (I am predicting lots of board games and hot chocolate in my future.)


Personal Goals for 2013

It’s a new year.  A new beginning, right?  Time for resolutions, right?  Wrong.  Resolutions are worthless.

Instead of making a resolution that will most likely be broken in two weeks, one should set goals.  Measurable goals.  Instead of saying “I’m going to eat better” or “I’m going to exercise more”.  A SMART goal would be one that can be tracked, like “I’m going to eat 25 grams of fiber every day” or “I’m going to work out 5 days every week”.

I signed up for Run to the Finish’s #BestFoot Challenge.


I love the idea of giving the new year a theme.  One word to sum up the whole year.

My word for 2013 is …..  Progress.

I want to see progress in ….  my career, my fitness goals, my marriage, my life.  I want to look back on 2013 and say ‘that was my year’!  The number 13 is not unlucky at all.  In fact, I believe ’13 is going to be the best year yet!!

Fitness Goals:

On January 7th, I will start the Best Body Boot Camp, let by Tina Reale.  I’ve been following her blog and her Instagram.  I admire her a lot (and we have a lot in common)- she’s a wife, a mom, a blogger, and she’s a Certified Personal Trainer.  I’m really excited to see what kind of workouts she will create for us.


On April 7th, I will run in my 6th Half Marathon.  I’m hoping to set a new PR.  I’d love to beat 2:09, but as long as it’s faster than 2:16:01 (last year’s time), I’ll be happy!

Fitness/ Career Goals:

And to let you all in on a little secret ….  I am currently studying for the Personal Trainer Certification through ACE Fitness.  I would like to take the test sometime in the next 12 weeks, so that I can then study for the Health Coach exam after that.  My goal would be to have a Health Coach certification by June 1st.


I have other, smaller goals.  But those are the ones I want to be accountable to.  I need help achieving them.  I need the support of my friends and the blog community to help me reach these goals.  I am very excited about what 2013 has in store for me!!


2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Thankful Thursday – Twenty Times Over

Today’s Elf4Health Challenge asked us to write down 20 things we are thankful for.

version3edited Elf for Health Holiday Challenge

So here goes…..  it might be a little predictable and trite, but how can I not be thankful for my family???

1.  My loving and supportive husband

2. My smart and energetic 7-year old son

3. My adorable and sweet 2-year old daughter

4. My crazy family

5. My fun-loving friends

6. My (continually improving) health

7. My job (it pays the bills)

8. My co-workers who make said job worth getting out of bed for!

9. My comfy bed

10. My cozy, warm house

11. My hometown of Knoxville, TN

12. My neighbors

13. My country

14. My freedom

15. My Nikon DSLR

16. My back deck situated on a hill (where I watch every sunset)

17. My sugar-free creamer which makes my coffee my favorite part of my morning

18. My squat rack and basement gym

19. My smart phone

20. All my faithful blog followers

I am very blessed!


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