The Bachelor, Exercise & The Scale

So this will be a pretty broken up and random post, but I have a lot of little things to say and figured I would just group them.

The Bachelor

Oh Juan Pablo…


He is cute, there is no denying that.  He is also hilarious, and doesn’t really hide what he is thinking.  Every girl that walked out of the limo’s he was like “WOW” and really excited.  He thought everyone was beautiful and made every effort to try and talk to everyone.

He also did a great job of getting rid of the crazy, I might add.

There were 27 girls this time as opposed to 25.  He seemed to get, what I think, 2 extra crazy girls than most seasons.  But, with that said, he eliminated – what appears to be – about 80% of them.  But it’s only the first episode.  These girls still have a chance to show their true nature.  A few of the ones he kept, Jason thought were absolutely, cut your phone lines, and break your knee caps crazy, and that is why I love him.

We had one woman cry almost instantly talking about how it was so hard, and it shouldn’t be this hard, and she didn’t know how to approach him, and blah.  She also still has the engagement ring and wedding dress from her failed engagement EARLIER THIS YEAR.  Girl take some time for yourself.  Juan Pablo don’t need that drama.

There was another girl, the ginger, who showed up in a horrible gown and for that should have been kicked off. I mean really. 

kylie-hear-wrong-name-rose-ceremonyYou can’t see her dress, but if you want to watch her humiliation – go here  (She heard the wrong name and went up when it wasn’t her, and then ultimately didn’t get picked.

Other than that we had a free spirit:

LUCY, JUAN PABLO GALAVISand the girl who got the first impression rose didn’t really seem to like him at all…




I was supposed to incorporate weight training yesterday with my running, and while I did a few things (Deadlifts, Squats, Shoulder presses, bicep curls, and rows) I didn’t stick to a routine and just kind of did the exercises I could remember from other workouts.  

So today I’m heading to the work gym with my coworker Grace to pump out some strength exercises.  I’m thinking this routine:

  • 1 Mile run Warm Up
  • Arm Machines 
  • Some free weights
  • Leg machines
  • Core machines?

I am not sure what they have at the gym because I usually just bee line for the treadmills, so I will have to report back when I find out.  I think that will be a good workout to ease back into it, and then when I have the machines down I can start using the D2S book again for actual workouts that have some sort of method to them.

The Scale

I didn’t post my Weigh In last week, even though I lost weight.  I am thinking that it’s too much for me to focus on (like it has been before).  While it’s a nice accountability factor, it makes me angry and annoyed when I don’t lose and I don’t need to project that on the blog anymore than I usually do.  My eating is getting better and more on track and I am looking forward to starting the week over on Friday with a clean slate, a clean weigh in, and a fresh start.  That is what every week, day, moment is – a new, fresh start.  I am planning on also buying a crap ton of produce this week, because my smoothies in the morning about about to get a major boost.  I am planning on making super smoothies with Shakeology and banishing the English Muffins for good!  Or just for breakfast. 

Well Darlings I am off to get back into work – busy weeks coming up – and then to the gym!



What I Did On My Long Winter Stay-Cation

I posted infrequently over the break, and most of the time it was short and not so sweet.  I decided since this is my morning back to reality that I would post a recap of my life since December 20.

The first day of our vacation, wasn’t a vacation at all.  We spent the entire day at a funeral and reception for Jason’s Aunt Daphne.  We had a pretty bipolar day as that evening we were celebrating our friend nuptials!



Lisette and Alex finally tied the knot since marriage is legal in DC now for everyone (I don’t like the term gay marriage, because Jason and I don’t use the term “straight marriage” so it seems dumb to use a different nomenclature for them).  It was a joyous night that continued late into the evening.

We then went to a hockey game with my dad – where lost in overtime – but still it was nice to hang out with my dad for the night, drinking too much beer, and eating too much fried food.  That Sunday I met up with Adie (of AdieCakesBlog fame) and her Fiance (and Jason too) for Hunger Games in IMAX.  We had already seen it, but she hadn’t, and IMAX.  I will see pretty much anything in IMAX.  It was glorious.

We putzed around most days sleeping late and taking many target trips.

Christmas eve we did our normal thing of Church with my parents and then dinner at Tony’s Pizza in Manassas.  We then meandered home to watch TV before passing out.  We had to go to McLean in the early morning to pick up my Grandmother (so my dad didn’t have to do two trips out there) so our Christmas morning alone was pretty short.

We spent the morning with my family, and then evening with Jason’s.  It was good day.

Then there was more putzing around, deciding what recipe I would use with my new French Oven (it’s French and not Dutch because it’s from France.) and then we went to TJMaxx randomly and found a KitchenAid Stand up mixer for more than 50% off.  So then I became the proud mamma of that.

My Christmas continued with more La Crueset items, and general spending of money on random things at Target.  We totally know how to manage our money responsibly.

New Years Eve showed up and we went to the Heritage Brewing opening in Manassas.  I know, I am a loyal customer of BadWolf Brewing across the street, but I wanted to see what the new place was like (As did Jason and my Father in Law).  So we eagerly waited in line outside to buy our drink tickets and head in.  $7 a beer/flight/or experimental brew tasting, seemed pretty steep.  The flights were only 4 beers (which I didn’t get to pick) out of the 6 + seasonal they had on tap.  They were supposed to be 2 oz servings each, and instead mine were mostly head (the guy pouring had no idea what he was doing) and were not as good as expected.  I had a few problems with that evening:

  • The prices for the pints were too steep for an opening night- especially when we didn’t get a pint.  It was more like 8 – 10 oz because of the people pouring.
  • The flights should have included all the beers that they are regularly having on tap
  • The sitting area should have been extended because of how many people there were.  It was a total fire code violation
  • Children should NOT have been allowed in.  I witnessed too much running around in a location that is dangerous (exposed industrial areas) for kids.
  • You had to go back outside and wait in line to buy more drink tickets when there was a woman inside with a register who could have easily done this indoors.
  • No one knew what they were doing.
  • The fact that there were “normal brews” and “experimental batches” was kind of confusing.  This was there first night of being open.  Everything was experimental.

I would and will go back, but most likely not for a while.  It felt chaotic, unorganized, and the beer wasn’t as good as I thought it would be for having delayed the opening by 3-4 months.  I donated 100 bucks to their kickstarter, so I think the people who did that should have had a private opening experience.

We then parted ways with Jason’s dad, and partied with Lisette and Alex again for some dinner at Sweetwater and then Champagne and coffee at their house.  It was a nice relaxing evening.  We don’t need or want flare.  We are too old for flare.

After that night it was pretty much a whole lot of nothing.  I got an extra day of “vacation” (I worked from home) because of a freak snow thing on the the 3rd (last Friday), so Jason and I built a fire, I worked on my laptop from the couch and we watched a crap load of the Tudors.

Yesterday (Sunday) we woke up late, and then headed to Mosaic District for lunch at Cava Grill and then Gelato at Dolcezza.  They had a separate Dolcezza across the street that was basically a coffee shop that sold gelato as well.  We ordered our drinks and settled down at a table and chair area and had one of the best afternoons that we have had in a long time.  It’s the type of day where you realize the simple conversations over coffee were what was missing.

It was a great break, all in all, and here are some pictures recapping the experience:


Heritage Brewing

Heritage Brewing

Heritage Brewing

Heritage Brewing

Heritage Brewing

Heritage Brewing

Beef Stew - the dinner that took my French Oven's virginity

Beef Stew – the dinner that took my French Oven’s virginity

There was a good amount of running.  I've pledged to run 700 miles (at least) in 2014.

There was a good amount of running. I’ve pledged to run 700 miles (at least) in 2014.

Cooking Extravaganza - Soupe au Pistou

Cooking Extravaganza – Soupe au Pistou

Cooking Extravaganza - Mini Bacon, Onion Quiche

Cooking Extravaganza – Mini Bacon, Onion Quiche

Cooking Extravaganza - Fluffy Drop Biscuits

Cooking Extravaganza – Fluffy Drop Biscuits

Date Day - Latte Art

Date Day – Latte Art

Date Day - Latte Art

Date Day – Latte Art

Date Day - The love of my life, the reason I am here, and the motivation to be better.

Date Day – The love of my life, the reason I am here, and the motivation to be better.











Nordstrom’s Beauty Event and Trunk Show & What I did on my Saturday

I have a lot of crappy pictures of this event, which I apologize for.  It only came to mind to blog about this at 7:00am so I apologize!

I rolled up and got in line to buy my ticket (which turned into a gift card) and then began running around like a crazy person trying to figure out where to go.  I was there with my friend, Grace, and immediately felt like I was this really important person getting into a really exclusive club.

I even won a Juicy Couture Prize Pack!

Especially when this happened (which you can’t see because I am the worlds worst photographer)

The Chanel Presentation

Oh what girl who has been remotely in love with fashion and lifetime movies not thought about how cool it would be to own something Chanel?  Okay maybe many of you, but I have loved the brand and own nothing of it – still don’t – but its gorgeous all the same.

Here is the philosophy presentation which was great and I am kicking myself for not going to their table.  We pretty much went to one table and stayed there for a bit.

The Vincent Longo Table.  HE WAS FREAKING THERE.  He actually started our consultation and then did the beginnings of our make up.  He touched my face.  He’s touched Nicole Kidman’s face.  So I figured he knew what he was doing with Grace and I as we are both EXTREMELY pale.

We then had our make up finished by two wonderful ladies, and I AM KICKING my self for not getting a before and after of Grace, because she looked AMAZING.  Like stunningly gorgeous.  I mean she’d gorgeous anyways but her eyes popped and she just lit up the whole room.

Here are my before and after:

Very natural and not clown like, which I appreciated.  There have been many people who made me look insanely bad, and I was thankful this was not one of those times.

We grabbed lunch and then parted ways, and it was a fantastic day.

When I got home I went for a run too quickly after eating but realized this make up is not for running, as it was almost all gone by mile 4

I attempted to recreate the look after my shower, before we went to Chop’t but I didn’t have the right tools…

Not too bad, but not as pretty or dramatic.  Oh well.  I ended up buying a crap load of make up and some primer which I think is just awesome.  I was very happy with the loot.


Products Used On Me:

Free Gifts I Received (because I bought too much):

It was a fun experience, and I would totally do it again next year!

What Day Is It?

I’m sorry, I know that was tragic.  But I had to.

How is everyone’s Wednesday?  Mine is not off to an amazing start.  I am currently looking for a safety pin because the zipper on my pants decided to just up and fail.  How did this happen you ask?  Well it’s not because the pants don’t fit, as I simply unzipped my pants to use the facilities, and well, it zipped to far and just came out of the Doo-hickey that makes the zipper, well zip.

I asked my husband to bring me new pants, but then decided to tough it out, because well, my shirt covers it, and I don’t have the ability to leave work in search of safety pins at the moment or new clothes.

I’m a trooper.  I guess I should just be happy that I still have the button at the top and my shirt is long enough to cover the pants issue completely.

My husband could have brought me pants, but I didn’t want him to be late for work, and oh well.

**UPDATE** Coworker had Safety Pin!  YAY

Today’s Plan:

  • Breakfast: Coffee w/ Protein Powder, Yogurt w/ Blue Berries
  • Snack: Tea & Apple
  • Lunch: Chipotle! (Salad w/ Veggies, Pinto beans, Barbacoa, mild, medium and corn salsa, little bit of cheese)
  • Snack: Vitacake
  • Dinner: Fish Tacos!
  • Activity : 5 MILES

I’m putting that out there.  I’m doing 5 miles today.  5.  YES. CINCO (Spanish), FEM (Swedish), Πέντε (Greek), Vijf (Dutch), Пять (Russian), Cúig (Irish).  In any language, there will be 5 miles done today.

I am excited about this because mainly, I need to up my mileage if I am not going to be running everyday, on the days that I do run.   I think this overhaul of adding strength and eating healthy mixed with the cardio and the fact that on days that I have class I am too stressed to eat – I will be healthier in no time!  I kid, I kid.

I am happy with the progression of the scale.  It hasn’t been easy – not by any means.  There are days where I am still pissed that I can’t have Pizza (or rather a whole medium pizza), or hamburgers from Five Guys, or and entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s – but in the long run, when I am able to actually finish my long run and finish it strong, I’ll be happy I didn’t have those things.

Clear your mind of can't! @SPARKLYSOULINC #inspiration #sparkleboost #sparklysoulinc

Tuesday Things

  • I had a dentist appointment this morning, and of course that meant that last night I was flossing like a crazy person and brushing my teeth with bleach (not really).  I hate going to the dentist because there are no secrets with the dentist.  They know if you are lying when you say “Yes I floss daily and brush morning and night”.  They can tell because your gums, if they are bad, give it away.  Luckily for me I wasn’t bad at all.  She even said “Nice Job”.  WAHOOO.  But I still have a cavity.  Jerkface Mouth.  So I go back on Monday for that to be taken care of.
Me at the Dentist.

Me at the Dentist.

  • I had another great run yesterday.  I’m thinking the more I run, the better/easier it seems.  SO I think I am going to focus on running and then strength train like one muscle group each day with my run.  Today will be 4 miles and Arms.   I’m thinking 3 sets of 15 reps each of : Shoulder presses, wide grip rows, bicep curls, and tricep dips.  That sounds good.
4 miles in 41'55" & Cooldown

4 miles in 41’55” & Cool down – Yesterday

  • I’m feeling really good about yesterday – Everything was tracked, there was no random snacking, and I closed out my day on MyFitnessPal – so that everyone could see my food diary.  I think when I run like I did yesterday I just feel full of endorphin’s and good vibes that I am not looking for the fullness from food.  I think I am reaching that point where I am not freaking out about every calorie and only fueling myself.  I mean my cheat meal was a Salad from Chop’t with full fat dressing for crying out loud.  Well there was also a sundae from Nathan’s Dairy Bar, as well, but after a salad for lunch and a salad for dinner I didn’t see the point of not getting dessert :-)
  • Did we all see the official Duchess Kate Photographs?  Yeah her husband and the other future king are in there too, but also… LUPO!!!  YAY Puppy Love!  Also because he looks like an all black version of my puppy Blarney the Wonder Dog.  (Yes, that is his full name.)
  • I want to do a giveaway but I am not sure what I should giveaway… My friendship?  I’m poor.

Give it to me:

  • What should my giveaway be?
  • What are you doing to be active today?
  • Did you see my Guilt Free Fried Rice Recipe Review?  IT’S YUMMY.


Oh yeah and a week from today I am back in school.  LORDY time flies.

Desire & Confusion

*Get ready for a ramble of a post*


I was awake for a good portion of last night just thinking.  Thinking about my job, school, coffee and how I shouldn’t have it in the evening, the work candy jar (and the evil people who refill it), running 7 miles this weekend, and lastly – Why is everything so damn hard?

Okay, may be that is an exaggeration, but still.  It feels that way when I push myself to exercise like a crazy person and then to flop when it comes to food.  Why is that?  Why am I broken record?  Why am I constantly making the same lame excuses only to realize that what I am doing, and what I have done isn’t working?

I read this article yesterday on Jezebel, and at first it made me mad, but then I realized, it was right.

“Strong Is Not ‘The New Skinny’ Because Women Don’t Need A New Skinny”

When I started my whole Weight Loss Journey like 5 years ago, I started with Weight Watchers and working out about 4 times a week.  I was using the Apartment gym we had with the treadmill and some weight machines, and then Jillian Michaels DVDs and The Firm system.  I was losing weight steadily.  Sizes I had never worn before were fitting, and I was gaining self confidence.  I remember telling my husband that on Weight Watchers (The old Momentum Plan) that I couldn’t believe how people overate on this.  I was always satisfied.  I was never hungry, and I never went over my points.

I weighed in religiously once a week, and was shocked at how the weight – seemingly without work at all – was coming off.  After 25 pounds melting away I was hooked.

Then it stalled.

So with the advice of some people on the message boards, I upped my game and started running.  I hated it at first (sometimes still do) and averaged a 13’46” mile.  I was happy with that at the time, and then progressively got faster and faster.

The weight started to come off again.

After having a love/hate relationship with Weight Watchers I dabbled in counting calories, no carbs, less carbs, paleo, south beach, clean eating only, intermittent fasting, you name it.

I regretfully state that I also tried Diet Pills of various kinds throughout this process too.

In March of 2012 I ran my first half marathon.  I remember standing at the start line with Jason on the other side of the barrier and I looked at him and said “I am not sure I can do this.”  and he smiled and said “Yes, of course you can.”  It wasn’t a motivational speech or anything but it was a bit of an umph that I needed.  The gun went off for my corral, and then about 2.5 hours later, I was done.  I had completed my first half marathon.

I had also gotten down to my lowest weight in my adult life.  I only had like 17 pounds to go to my goal.

Over the next and some months – to where I am now – I have floundered.  I have gained 12 pounds and am still clinging to whatever ‘new information’ comes out about how to lose weight.  I have kept up with running, finishing two more half marathons, a bunch of 10 milers, a crap load of 10ks and COUNTLESS 5ks and 4 milers.  I’ve had some PR’s in those races, and some races left me wondering what the hell I thought I was doing even running at all.

This leads me to today.

The above article made me mad at first, and then it opened my eyes.  What is strong?  Is it 12% body fat? Is it the ability to run a half marathon (with walk breaks)? Is it the ability to say ‘No’ to dessert?  Is it counting calories successfully?  Is it beating Pre-Diabtetic warnings?  Is it beating cancer?  Is it waking up every morning and looking at your closet knowing only a small fraction of what you actually own fits you?  Is it walking into a high school reunion KNOWING that you look better than you did in high school but still waiting for the endless taunts and insults from the ‘popular kids’? What is it?

I don’t think it’s one thing in particular, and I don’t think lifting weights, running miles, or getting to your goal weight defines it.

I think ‘Strong’ is a mindset.

You know who I think is strong?

My Mom – She loves animals.  She works at a vet’s office and is one of the most caring people you will ever know.  When a family comes in and has to do the unthinkable of putting their animal to sleep, she is there with her arms stretched out wide, and an embrace that I swear if it could be bottled, would cure the most horrible of diseases.

My Dad – Who, between his three jobs, works like 200 hours a week, never asks for anything, and does everything for everyone else.  He gives up watching baseball or hockey so that my family can watch “The Bachelorette” or some TLC show about Ducks.  He never complains, barely sleeps, and is one of the most supportive people I know.

My Older Sister, Meagan – She has two kids, and her own company.  She works all week taking care of the kids, her house, and my parents house and animals and then works Saturday and Sunday doing her business of grooming dogs.  She doesn’t get a break.  She knows what has to be done and does it.  She wakes up everyday and like a machine get’s it done.  She is also always around for funny blog post at F*ck What You Heard and a quick conversation on facebook.

My Younger Sister, Cece – She works at Starbucks (a thankless job I had for 6 years) and goes to school at night so that she can become a Hair Stylist.  Even though that means getting up at 3:30 in the morning to work the opening shift and then driving to Tysons Corner to go to school from like 5:00pm to 10:00pm at night, she does it.  I watched her walk through her younger years being made fun of or treated badly by her so called ‘friends’ and she never once gave up.  She just kept going.

My Husband, Jason – This man deserves a medal and a handshake from the President for 1.) having willingly entered this union of our marriage and 2.) dealing with my insane amounts of crazy on a daily basis.  He doesn’t complain.  He doesn’t let me give up.  He has sacrificed so much so that I could be happy.  Waking up at all hours to take me to races, working hard at his job so that we can have a house, two cars, vacations, and that I can go to school. He uses whatever strength he has to hold me up so that the metaphorically crumbling earth below me (in my mind) doesn’t eat me alive.

None of these people are body builders, runners, bikini models, motivational speakers, or crossfit box goers.  These are the strong people.  These are the ones that don’t give up because they know there is no way that they can.

Strong is Sexy – but it’s not physical strength that will get you there.  You have to be mentally strong.  Mental strength is something no diet, no barbell, no diet pill, no treadmill, no race medal, no PR, no amount of weight loss will get you.

Today, I am choosing to be mentally strong.  I am choosing to be like those guys up there, and choosing to change my mindset.

Because your Mind is the sexiest thing you can possess.  So I’m using it wisely from now on.

Way Back Wednesday!

2007 - 2012

2007 – 2012

I needed a pick me up this morning as I did squats for my NROLFW workout I was focused on the cellulite on my thighs and pretty much convinced myself in that 26 minute workout that I would never, ever, improve.  I might get stronger, I might run faster, but I would forever look the same.

I felt like that 200+ pound girl who somehow got married to an amazing man, and could barely zip up her wedding dress.

As I did my first set of 1 minute planks I stared at myself in the mirror.  My skin glistening in the sweat dripping off of it, I saw her, from 6 years ago.  She was glaring back at me in the mirror.  Her puffed out bloated face that most likely had just gorged on a 700 calorie drink from Starbucks, and a 1000+ calorie apple fritter for a “Light breakfast”.  She looked like she was in pain.  But not physical pain.  She looked like she had given up.

When the timer went off saying I had hit a minute, I jumped my legs forward and began my horizontal wood chops.  When I jumped back down for my second plank, I looked in the mirror and realized I was crying.

As I finished the second plank and jumped up for my second round of wood chops, I was still reeling.  Would I ever be able to see myself, the way that my Husband sees me?  The way that I actually look?  Or will my reflection always be my past?  (Insert the Mulan song ‘Reflection’ for added dramatic effect, if you so wish.)

When I jumped down for my third plank, I felt defeated.  I ‘planked’ there in straight arm form and just felt useless, fat, horrible.

When the timer went off, my workout was done.  I stood up and then stared at the floor.

I’ve never been able to do 3 planks, back to back before.  Even though I can hold a plank for a pretty long period of time – as long as I don’t come out of it, and I can grunt as I wish – I’ve never been able to do more than one plank in a row – especially after a full on weight session.

Suddenly, staring in the mirror, I saw what I looked like today.  My legs aren’t where I want them to be, but damn if they aren’t toned.  My arms when lifting, are crazy strong and man I can see the muscles poking through.  My abs, still need a hell of a lot of work, but THEY HELD ME IN 3 PLANKS.

My ass is becoming a bubble.  It’s lifted.  It’s perky.  It’s becoming a high school/early college age ass.


I decided to make the side by side picture because I needed a reminder.  Sometimes you just need picture proof.  I can’t wait to take my next set of pictures for NROLFW, and then for my side by side from the entire program at the end.

I also tried Shakeology today, and I’m hooked.  I ordered my first bag of Vanilla, and am excited to try it out. Who knows I might end up as a Beach Body Coach!

My point of this ramble is, sometimes the mirror lies, because your mind allows it.  Do your best to see yourself in the light of others, as opposed to what your self doubt makes you.

xoxoxoxoxoxo my lovelies.


Food For Thought: