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 …..

20130718_135709[1]

Curious alleyways ….

alleyway

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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I’m Back! … And Happy 1st Blogiversary!

Hello everyone!!  I’m back!  I’ve missed you all.  How are you doing??  (I got out of the habit of updating the blog, so the last couple of weeks I’ve been procrastinating in writing this post.  Instead I’ve been enjoying all the things I’ve neglected over the last semester.)  I have so much to catch you up on!!

So you’ve probably wondered what I’ve been up to while MIA from the Blog.  Well…I’ve been busy, that’s for sure!!   I’ve been taking 8 hours of online college credit courses with Barton Community College:  Anatomy & Physiology I & II.  And I made 2 A’s!!!  What up!

They have an excellent online program that I would highly recommend to anyone who needs to get college credit from an accredited school.  The great thing about this Community College is that it feeds right into Kansas State University.

Why do I care about Kansas State you ask?  It has the only online Dietetics program that’s accredited by ACEND.  You see, I thought I wanted to be a Registered Dietitian.  (I still do).  So I was taking the pre-requisite courses to help get me into the program.  While I already have my Bachelor’s Degree in Business, I was prepared to go back to school to get a new degree.

But I quickly found out that having a husband, two kids, a full time job AND taking classes was a bit much.  More than a little overwhelming.  I’m not completely giving up my dream of being a R.D. just yet.  But for now, while my kids are little, I don’t want to spend all my extra time studying.  I want to enjoy my kids.  So I’m going to put this on hold while I pursue other things.

Oh, and on top of those 2 classes, I was also studying for my ACE Fitness Personal Trainer certification.  I ordered the books back in December and I had 6 months to take the test.  I may have procrastinated a little in the first few months, but I hit the books hard for the last 3 or 4.  It was a TON of information!  There’s a reason they give you 6 months.  You need it!!!

image

It was a hard, hard test.  But I am happy to report that I passed !!  I am officially an ACE certified Personal Trainer!!  Now the question is … what exactly am I going to do with that?  I don’t know for sure.  I’d love to take on a few clients on the side, just for fun.  I love motivating people.  But actually, I got the PT cert in order to get the Health Coach certification.  Ultimately, I would love to be a Health Coach.  So we’ll see what life has in store.

Also, I didn’t want to miss out on celebrating my One-Year Blogiversary.  I started this blog a year ago as a way to keep myself motivated. (Read my first post here).  Even though I enjoy motivating others, I still need help motivating myself sometimes.  I have the same vices as anyone else – beer/wine and ice cream!  I think it’s okay to indulge once in a while as long as you eat healthy the other 90% of the time.  I love food.  I love cooking and creating recipes.  I love being a part of this Blogger community.  You guys are great.

So that’s what’s new in my life!  What’s going on with you??

Stay tuned for lots of updates (including a Blog makeover) coming soon.

Peace!

~ Katie 🙂

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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!

Love,

Katie  🙂

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Weekend Recap: Chocolate Wine and Cake Ballz

Once again, better late than never.  🙂  I seem to have a hard time getting a blog out on a Sunday or a Monday.  Not sure exactly why that is all about, but I’m not going to let it stop me from posting a weekend recap.

First of all, do you remember me telling you about this chocolate wine I found for Valentines Day??  I never imagined I would see it again until next February.  Well, imagine my shock and surprise when I found it at a local liquor store on Friday… AND there was a $10 mail in rebate if you bought 3 bottles.  Duh.  Guess how many I bought???  lol

chocolate rouge

That was my idea of a fun Friday night!!  🙂   And this was the kids’ idea ….  naked and playing video games.  They are so funny.  Of course, she is not actually playing that Nintendo DS, she is just pushing buttons.

kids playing

Saturday was a beautiful day!  So I had to take my daughter out for a walk in the neighborhood.  I actually started out on the treadmill with an episode of Biggest Loser, but then realized that I would be much better served to take it outside.  Our neighborhood is really hilly, so it’s a great workout pushing a stroller up all the hills.

You do realize that you can’t take a walk without Mickey, Minnie AND George, right??

walking the neighborhood

After the walk and the shower, we were headed down to my in-laws house for an afternoon gathering.  It’s an hour-long drive in the car.  The little one wouldn’t nap.  So that made for a really evening… and night.  Why is it that if they don’t get their nap in, they then don’t sleep well at night.  You would think they’d be so tired that they’d sleep great!  Not with this one.

Dinner was Taco Soup with a variety of toppings.  It was fun watching how everyone made their soup.  Some put chips on the bottom, some on the top, and of course, mine are on the side.  Everyone’s was different.

taco soup

You know me ….  I have to take a pic of the beautiful sunset ….

sunset through the three

If it’s a birthday in hubby’s family, then carrot cake is standard issue.  It was delicious!!

happy birthday

And finally, no birthday is complete without cake balls!!  Red Velvet Cake Ballz.  (My specialty)  And a favorite with the fam.

cake ballz

Most of Sunday was spent doing homework.  I still had a massive chapter on muscles to finish reading, homework to do, discussion questions to answer, and a test to take!  But I am happy to report I got a 93 on my test!  Yipee.

It was another beautiful day so I made sure I took the time to get outside for another walk with the babe in the stroller.  My workout actually started on the treadmill with an episode of ‘The Biggest Loser’ but then decided I would be better served to take my workout outside.

Question of the Day:  Have you ever made cake balls before?  And what is your favorite treat on your special day??

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Last Things Thursday: 2/21/13

This is going to be a fun one.  Thursday was a super crazy day!

1. Last Food You Ate:

A protein bar and a coffee.  Yes, that was my dinner.  Let me explain.  I had only a limited amount of time from when I left work to when I had to meet Mom in Maryville to see my cousin in a play.  But tonight was my night to run, and I really needed to get my workout in.  So I changed quickly, went running, got a coffee afterwards (because I was cold), drove 30 minutes to Maryville, changed back into my dress and boots in the car, and made it to the lobby by 6:45.  No time for dinner.  But luckily, I had a protein bar in my purse!!

protein bar and coffee

2. Last Beverage You Drank:

See previous question.  It was coffee.  And I’m thinking that drinking that much caffeine at 6:30pm was probably not the greatest idea I’ve ever had!!

3. Last workout:

4.2 miles at Lakeshore.  It wasn’t the fastest I’ve ever run.  I walked some too.  But I didn’t want to get too sweaty before the play.

lakeshore run

4. Last thing You Pinned:

Oh goodness – I haven’t been on Pinterest in days.  Too busy  😦

5. Last text message you sent:

To hubby, of course.  I let him know when the play was over.  And that it was POURING and I had parked like a football field or two away from the building.  So I looked like a drowned rat when I got home!!

6. Last blog you visited:

Katie Moves.  I especially enjoyed reading her engagement story earlier in the week. Congratulations, Katie!!

7. Last place you visited:

The Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College (that’s where the play was).

8. Last show you watched:

Does the play count??  It was called ‘Hay Fever’ by Noel Coward.  It was set in England in the 1920’s.  The playwright himself described Hay Fever as “one of the most difficult plays to perform that I have encountered … it has no plot at all, and remarkably little action.”  So he even admitted there was no plot.  It was cute at times.  A little slow.  The actors were great.  Though, I think I missed some dialog based on the fact I couldn’t understand what they were saying in their fake British accents.

playbook

That’s my cousin, Gregg, sitting there at the table.

hay fever play

And us afterwards….

me and my cousin

9. Last thing you baked:

Ack.  I just realized I haven’t baked anything since I did this survey last week.  Though, it’s just as well.  It took us days to finally finish that strawberry cake.  And I’d rather not have all that temptation sugar just sitting around the house.

10. Last photo you instagrammed:

Technically, the last photo I instagrammed was of my salad last night.  But since I shared that in yesterday’s WIAW post, I went a little further back to get my daughter dancing on the table:

tada

Whew!  That was quite a day.  I left the house at 7:45am and arrived back home, exhausted, at 10:30pm.  Thankgoodness tomorrow is Friday!!!

PS – any other WordPress users out there??  Do you find that after you hit ‘Post’ that sometimes pictures or words just disappear???  It seems to happen almost every other time.  I have to remember to go back and reread my post after I publish, because more often that not, I have to hit ‘Edit’.  A little frustrating.

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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!!

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.

breakfast

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.

menu

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.

us

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.

biscuit

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:

church

architecture

birds

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.

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.

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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Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

From WordPress:  IN A NEW POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PICTURE THAT MEANS ILLUMINATION TO YOU.

If you’ve read my blog for more than a week, you’ve probably guessed that we like live music.  More specifically, we like seeing our favorite bands play live!

Right now, our favorite bands are The Delta Saints and The Dirty Guv’nahs.  Here are a few of my favorites from the shows we attended in 2012:

(all of which include an impressive light show)!!

tennessee theatre

Tennessee Theatre in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Dirty Guvs @ The Bijou in February, 2012

The Dirty Guvs @ The Bijou in February, 2012

As a matter of fact, it was this show at the Bijou where we were first introduced to The Delta Saints.  They were the opening band and they blew us away.  They are so amazing.  You need to check them out!!  We’ve been following them ever since.

the dirty guvs 2

The Dirty Guvs @ their CD release party in Market Square – August 2012

Delta Saints opening for the Black Cadillacs - free concert in Market Square, Oct 2012

Delta Saints opening for the Black Cadillacs – free concert in Market Square, Oct 2012

Love love love them!!!

Market Square, October 2012

Market Square, October 2012

The Black Cadillacs put on a good show too.  And incidentally, they opened for The Delta Saints at their CD Release party at the Exit/In in Nashville on Nov 30th.

The Delta Saints at their CD Release party at the Exit/In on Nov 30th.

The Delta Saints at their CD Release party at the Exit/In on Nov 30th.

The Dirty Guv'nahs at the Tennessee Theatre on New Years Eve

The Dirty Guv’nahs at the Tennessee Theatre on New Years Eve

And one of my favorite shows of the year was the New Years Eve concert.  We were introduced to a new band, A Thousand Horses.  Might have to start listening to them too.  They were really good.

A Thousand Horses

New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

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First week of the New Year

And what have I gotten accomplished??  Not much.  Sadly, not much at all.  My daughter has been sick.  New Years Day we spent the whole day on the couch watching every animated movie we could find while trying to keep her fever down.  The next day, I took her to the doctor only to find out she has a double ear infection and her right eardrum has ruptured.  So bring on the meds.  10 days of antibiotics and ear drops.  😦

ice cream for dinner

After a few bad nights, I finally pulled out all the stops last night.  I deployed every home remedy I could think of …. warm bath, Vicks Vaporub on her feet, honey for her throat and a pillow under her mattress.  And guess what?  It worked!!  She slept all night long – I never heard her cough once!  Yay!

Oh, I did do one thing this week ….  Something I resisted doing for a really really long time …..  I joined Twitter.  I used to roll my eyes at that particular social media phenomenon.  I thought Facebook was bad enough with the oversharing.  I really didn’t want to read an hour by hour recap of everyone’s thoughts during the day.  And I still don’t.  But I feel as if I am missing out a little, so here I am.  You can follow me –  katiedaisy921.  Don’t expect me to be tweeting a whole lot.  In fact,  I may need a little tutorial on how to use it.

I much prefer Instagram when it comes to sharing and Social Media.  Speaking of Instagram, I had something exciting happen yesterday!!  BMWUSA picked my photo to feature for it’s #fanfriday post.  Mine was dead center in a collage of 9 photos.  Yay.  I entered it in the #BMWnewyear photo contest.  This particular day was ‘steering wheel’.

bmw

So needless to say –  I am really glad it’s the weekend!!  But there will be no rest for this girl.  All the things I didn’t get done this week are still on my To Do List.  I need to clean the house, laundry, study, long run, and catch up on emails.  What are you doing this weekend??

Questions of the Day:

1) What is your favorite Social Media site??  2)  Do you use Twitter?  3)  If so, what do you like most about it?

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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.

bootcamp_large

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!!

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