Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Single Digits and Firsts

Goodness, I am SO behind on blogging, and after only 2 days of work! First of all, let's talk about:


Umm, the new job is A-mazing!! Sadly, my work assignment manager was not in the office Monday morning because her son was home sick. But of course, I got the welcome email and another listing tons of materials I should read up on via the EPA website. Needless to say, it's been an overwhelming influx of information. And yet, I love it. The rest of my time was spent making address labels for a conference to be held in Puerto Rico. Tedious, yet it was my first "billable task" so I'm sure I will always remember it.

Yesterday was much the same, except I met with the HR manager and got to fill out LOADS of paperwork. Anyone know how to fill out a 401k?? I meant to call my mom to figure that out last night, but I had a very frustrating night at Loft. My home to-do list is not getting any smaller anytime soon...

The Most Frustrating Night Ever

Some people are just extremely inconsiderate and selfish. My frustrations last night stem from last week when my assistant manager at Loft was making this week's schedule. I had previously talked to my manager about helping out and working some evenings while they find a replacement for me. My manager asked if I was able to work a couple of nights from 6-9 while they do. Well, my assistant manager refused to take into account that if she put me on the schedule for 5:30, all I would have time for is the commute between the two places. And of course, that's what she did.

I had about 2 seconds to run into the neighboring Panera and grab a salad, even though I have about 10 pounds of cooked food in my fridge at home--yeah, I'm not about to pack 4 meals a day. I hate spending money on food when I don't need to. On top of that, I was already supposed to be on the clock, so I didn't even have time to eat it. I had to wait til my 2 closing associates got to the store and I ran to the back and stuffed my face. But that wasn't the end of it.

As my assistant manager was leaving, she mentioned that the floor cleaning guys were coming that night and gave me some papers with an inadequate explanation of what I needed to do when they got here. All I knew was that they were coming at 8, which is when we close. Well, of course they get there at 8:05 and sign the papers and ask if it was okay if they quickly grabbed food before they started. I didn't have to be there while they were cleaning the floors, but I had to be there to give them the keys and physically watch them lock me and my closing associates out of the store. Well, they asked when we would be finished (aka what time they should be back from grabbing food), and I said 8:30. Um yeah, they didn't show back up til 9:05! Then they took their sweet time bringing their stuff in. The guy apologized for "being a few minutes late," and instead of grabbing quick food somewhere in the shopping center, they went down the street where it supposedly took "20 minutes to make a burger." Buddy, I know bullshit when I hear it.

Needless to say, I was NOT pleased and I was definitely not expecting to work a 12 hour day. It would have been nice too, if I had a heads up of the floor cleaning guys before I walked in the store yesterday. I am so sorry for venting, but it was just not the kind of night I needed. I physically and mentally do not have the energy for that crap! I am going to have a major sit-down with my manager today--she has me on the schedule again for 5:30 next Friday. There is no way I'm going through a night like last night again. It's NOT OKAY!


Still getting used to working out alone, but Toni has jumped in some days so we get to workout together. What a sweetheart! I find that although I can't lift quite as heavy, I take very little rest periods which is helping keep my heart rate up. And fatiguing my muscles quicker. I'll take it!

Weight it going down, even though I somehow accidentally snuck an extra meal in yesterday. Don't let that fool you, I was starving and stressed! On top of that, I also accidentally doubled up my workouts on Monday and did a chest workout alone in the AM and shoulders with Toni in the PM. So I guess it somehow evens out. I will be ready to SLEEP this weekend!

I'm still getting used to timing my meals at the new job--I don't want to seem like I'm taking advantage of anything by eating multiple times. But we do work through lunch, which I actually prefer, because I don't need an hour to eat. Give me 5 minutes, and I promise I can scarf down more (prep-friendly) food than you can imagine! I guess I'll feel it out, but for a couple weeks I'll have to adjust meal timing. I'm thinking if I make at least one of my meals a protein shake, it will be a bit better.

One thing I'm sad to see go--my gallon water jug! I don't want new coworkers to think I'm crazy before they've really gotten to know me, so for at least the meantime I have switched to a more appropriate liter water bottle. I will admit, it's easier to schlep around!!

Oh, and the "single digits" in my title--I'm down to (less than) 9 weeks until the competition! I. WILL. BE. READY!! You can bet on that! Just need my love handles and hammies to shape up PLEASE!

I realize pictures are pretty absent today, my apologies! With all that's been going on, I do not have time to do the whole paparazzi shindig!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Let's Fall Into Fall!

Yesterday was a turn for the colder--a nice reprieve from the dog days of summer if you ask me! It marked my last weekday of "freedom" before I enter the world of work. Though, if you've been following along, you already know that I don't mind ;) It also marked the first of many days in the gym without my trainer, Kevin.

If I Gotta Do It Solo...

I'm gonna make the best of it, duh!! And let me tell you, yesterday morning I realized it's not going to be as easy as I thought. Walking into Gold's at 5:30 was weird, knowing that I don't have anyone to joke around with--okay that's not fully true, Toni & I are pretty silly sometimes. Yesterday was a shoulder day, so I wasn't expecting it to be too tough of a workout, but mind you that working with a trainer means having a spotter aka lifting a tad heavier. First set of shoulder presses was with 20s, and while challenging, I felt like I could go up in weights. So naturally, I moved up to 25s for my second set. Or at least that's what I was hoping...

I wasn't even one rep in when my arm started going downnnnn. Complete fail. Insert frustration here. Especially since I've busted out sets with 30s before. So yeah, working out alone is going to be a bit more difficult than I had hoped. But it will be doable I'm sure. I moved back down the the 20s and finished my last 2 sets--awkwardly embarrassed, hoping no one witnessed my utter failure.

All that aside, I got through the rest of my workout yesterday, complete with abs, and finished up with intervals on the treadmill:

  • 5 min warmup @ level 7
  • 30s on @ level 9
  • 90s off @ level 7
  • Repeat 6 times
  • 1 min cool down @ level 7
I do realize I could have made this a bit more challenging, but lately I've been in less of a treadmill mood and more of a stairmill/elliptical mood. Like I said before--baby steps!

Last This Friday Night Day

Katy Perry's song isn't as catchy if you change the main chorus... But I promise I had almost as much fun yesterday as she has in the song. Maybe a little less eventful. My friend Stacy asked me to join her in a mini road trip to Short Pump, a really nice mall in Richmond, yesterday. She had to get her wedding ring inspected (apparently she has to do this every 6 months), and it so happened to be a good excuse to go shopping. I really didn't need that much, but wanted to check out the Dick's Sporting Goods down there--everything in Richmond is at least twice as big as in Charlottesville. After a little perusing, she ended up with a cute pair of red flats, some MAC makeup, and some Bath & Body Works goodies. 

I, on the other hand, was trying to be good and only left with a new pair of compression shorts (because  apparently I can't have enough!) and 3 mini candles from B&BW. I had to be good considering there was a pair of boots waiting for me at Loft with my name on them and I had yet to go to Sam's Club to try to find prep-friendly food in bulk.

Did I mention the mall we went to was dog-friendly? Archie would have loved it! We even stopped into the Doggy Bakery to get a treat for Stacy's dog, Maggie. And of course, I found the PERFECT birthday "cake" for the pups!
Awww! Mark your calendars: Archie & Murdoch entered
this world on Columbus Day!
On the way back to town, we were greeted with this skyline:
Fall(ing) sky
It was pretty (cool)--it looked like it was going to rain, but the sky wasn't dark enough. I didn't even mind yesterday's overcast skies--it was a welcome break from the unseasonably hot days earlier this week. And perfect bulk shopping weather haha.

Last year I borrowed stole my mom's Sam's Club card--she never uses it, and my grandma always renews it for her. I decided that I might as well put it to good use so those membership fees don't go to waste (or so I tell myself). Unfortunately, my last experience at Sam's was less than stellar--they didn't have anything I was looking for, and it was a crazy busy Friday night back in May. I literally just left my empty cart where it was in the store and walked out. It was impossible to navigate and the lines were not just one but TWO miles long!

Because of that Friday night experience, I was hesitant to go yesterday, lest I end up in the same situation. I figured it was safe though since it was about 5:30, so people were probably at home getting dinner ready before going out and doing their Friday night thang. For once, I actually assumed right! AND they had all the items I was looking for! Last time I went in, they didn't even carry egg whites, but this go-round they do!! So of course, I stocked up on those suckers, an ungodly amount of chicken breasts (which are currently in the slow cooker), turkey tenderloin (to switch things up a bit), broccoli, pickles, multivitamins (hello, 3 month supply!!), spinach, and gum. I think that's everything. Food to last OVER a week, all for $90. And to top that off, I found out that they sell 5lb bags of MuscleTech protein powder for ~$34. Never tried the brand, but the stats didn't look bad, and you really can't beat that price. Next time, I will be taking that home with me. Just warning you...

Now that I've relieved all my over-enthusiasm about bulk grocery shopping, something to which I previously alluded:

 Sorry about the grainy pics, but it's overcast here again today, which means indoor iphone pics = much worse than normal. And side note: I normally don't wear lounge pants with boots, but I was just too over-zealous to show you my greatest steal in recent time. Those boots you're looking at? Yeah, they currently sell for $179 at Loft online. My store is not fortunate enough to sell boots, but some lady returned these. They're size 7.5 which is a half size smaller than I normally wear, but when I put them on, I felt like Cinderella--they fit PERFECTLY!! How much did I pay? Oh, after tax, only $56.

Nope, that's not a typo! Working at Loft, whenever we meet our monthly sales goals, every associate gets two coupons for an additional 40% off one item (on top of our generous employee discount), but they can only be used in the associate's home store. Which means they can't be used online. Which made me completely frustrated...until that lady returned these boots. You should have seen me when I saw them come into the store--I was like a kid on Christmas opening a box with a puppy inside! Yeah, that's a LOT of excitement to live up to. I seriously cannot wait to wear these! I'm going to be the overprotective mom though and make sure not to wear them anywhere they may get ruined though, haha.

Here's to the Future!

Aka Monday. Aka Liz's first day at her first real job. I woke up today thinking it was Sunday, after getting slightly confused as to whether yesterday really was Friday or if it was Saturday (hope you followed that). I had a mini freakout moment where all I could think was "I have so much to get done!!!!" Then I remembered that it was Saturday, DUH! But regardless, my to do list was still the same size. I've actually managed to get through a bit of it today:
  1. Light a Fall-scented candle. CHECK--pumpkin spice is currently burning on my desk.
  2. Cook massive amounts of protein. CHECK--the turkey tenderloins came out of the oven a couple hours ago and the chicken is still cooking away in the slow cooker.
  3. Check-in with Pleasants. CHECK--BF% and BMI% went down. Body fat more so than BMI, i.e., still maintaining muscle mass! Trouble areas have again been pinpointed (stupid side obliques!) and WILL be trained daily!
  4. Trek to Target. Repeat after me: "Mousse, draino, sweetener." CHECK--even had coupons for 2 of those 3 items. Score!
  5. Stop by Lowe's dang it! CHECK--this has been on and off my to-do list since I moved into the new apartment. I NEEDED paint swatches to find a new color for my walls. Grabbed numerous ones and have it narrowed down to 3 possible colors, though one is a definite frontrunner. Oh, can anyone vouch for that primer and paint in one thing?? I'm contemplating buying that when I make my color decision so I don't have to do like 4 coats on these terrible brick-red walls! I figure that will knock it down to 2 coats (and only 1 gallon...?) of paint.
I'm leaning toward the middle small one...
Currently, the draino is working away in my shower (it's about time!), my chicken is almost done and ready to be portioned, and my belly is full of broccoli and a green protein shake (courtesy of my bulk supply of spinach). And of course my candle is burning away, making both my nose and me VERY happy.

What are your favorite seasonal scents?? The other candles I bought are the following aromas: lavender macaroon, salty caramel, and apple crumble. But I do love me some pumpkin!

What is your most recent shopping steal?? Do you like to buy in bulk??

Lastly, WHO WANTS TO HELP ME PAINT!? Kidding of course!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Bittersweet

So this week has been a bit crazy for me. Sure, I was at my mom's through Monday morning, drove back to Charlottesville on Monday, and have been working ever since, or so it seems. But I feel like I haven't had many free moments--and I don't really count the time between my morning gym session and work as free time, because half the time I'm prepping food, getting put together for work, and catching up on all things internet-related. And then there was yesterday, when I fell asleep at 10 am for an hour. Much needed! All craziness aside, this week has had it's moments.

The Good

Workouts have been spot-on this week! I haven't been lifting as heavy as I normally do, but I'm making each and every rep count. I'm trying to adjust to not working out with Kevin every day, which means I haven't had a spotter. Hence the lighter lifts. But, it's still heavy for what I can do on my own. And if I grab weights and they're too light, I just do more reps and count that set as a warmup. There ya go!

Needless to say, this week and last have been a transition period (before the actual transition). I've done a lot of workouts on my own, getting used to what my body can do without a set of hands to catch me if I mess up. I'm also really bad at making up workouts out of the blue (except for leg days--I got those covered), so I tend to have to write everything down, or find workouts online. Recently, I'm really enjoying Jamie Eason's workouts on Though I think I may have to move into her Phase 2 workouts soon... Having something written down doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to do those exact exercises, but it lets me know what muscle groups I have to train, and this is the point where I've asked Kevin for some substitutions.

It's not just workouts that have been good, but nutrition is getting there too! Yes, I may have slipped up a teeny bit and had some peanut butter in my oats in the morning, but those are healthy fats, right? Or so I tell myself... But I'm not taking any fatty acid supplements, so it might balance out? At any rate, the little peanut butter I had left is gone, and I turned my stash of peanuts into peanut butter via my Vitamix. Don't worry though, this new PB will promptly be given away (as a going away gift). I did attempt to make it a bit healthier but throwing a scoop and a half of protein powder in there! ;)

The only thing I've really been having problems with lately is water intake. I'm still not getting enough plain water. If I count all the liquid that I'm consuming--coffee, diet sodas (to keep me awake/active at work), protein shakes--then it comes close, but I don't know the last time I've actually seen the bottom of an empty water jug. Oops! Pleasants even told me I looked flat when I met with him on Monday! Harsh words!!

But today was leg day & I killed it! Box step-ups--you are officially my b*tch! Please note that I absolutely HATE step ups. I beg Kevin to not do them in order to avoid them. And normally I'm good and I actually get away with not having to do them and replacing them with lunges instead. But once again, since I'm going to be on my own now, I decided it was time to SUCK IT UP, stop being a baby, find the damn box and get to stepping. As uncoordinated and wobbly as I was (and trust me, it didn't help that the box was wobbly--but I needed it near a wall just in case!). Three sets later and I'm still alive! *High five*

On an unrelated, yet still good, note--I won a free pair of pants at Loft on Tuesday! I got to choose any pair I wanted--too bad there were only a few styles I'd actually wear in my size... But hey, they fit better than my old (too-large) jeans do! Pictures to come, obviously!

The Bad

I really REALLY need to go grocery shopping! Unfortunately, I have to wait til tomorrow (stupid bills due last week!). So this means I've been compromising my nutrition for things I actually do have. Let's see--I ran out of egg whites Tuesday morning, I finished the last of my chicken yesterday, and I only have one serving left of Swai for today. Oh, and I'm down to my last bag of broccoli. 

Note to self & to others: eating chicken at 8am in place of egg whites may make you want to vom. I think this was actually the reason for my sporadic 10am nap yesterday morning. Or the combination of chicken and coffee. This morning, I subbed swai for egg whites. Yes, pathetic. And let me tell you something--egg whites are much more filling, in my opinion! Maybe that's why I feel like I just ate a vegetable baby--too many veggies to replace the lesser volume of food. Grr!

Oh, and shakes made with water < shakes made with unsweetened almond milk. So watery & bland. I went as far as to throw half a cuke in my shake earlier, and while it wasn't bad, it didn't do anything for the texture. But believe me, when I get a free chance tomorrow, I am heading straight for Sam's Club--stocking up on chicken breasts, egg whites, and veggies, among other things. Oh and better be ready for me--I have a shopping cart all set, I just need to click "Order." Where do clothes fit into this paycheck??

The Bittersweet

Yesterday morning marked my last workout with Kevin. And today is his last day in Charlottesville--he leaves tonight. I'm not really an emotional person (aside from all the employment/$$ issues I had this summer), but I would be lying if I said today is not a sad day. I started working out with Kevin last year--sometime in June. He's been the most accommodating (and only) trainer I've had--he's worked around my school schedule, he worked around my internship (and job and class schedule--simultaneously), and most recently he's worked around my crazy, ever-changing Loft schedule. He's gladly taken peanut butter cookies off my hands when I'm in the mood to bake but am not able to eat my creations. He became a regular at Sunday dinner sponsored by Megan. He helped me out during my move from the house to the apartment--and that was not fun in the hot late-May weather! And he's helped get me in the best shape of my life. He doesn't let me make excuses and encouraged me to do a competition before I even seriously considered one.

But alas, I'm losing a great trainer and friend. And although I do have others to workout with--hello, Toni, Megan & my brother, Alex!--it's going to take a lot of getting used to. The gym is going to feel like a completely different environment, and I don't know if I'm ready for that. But regardless, I have a goal and I WILL be ready by November 19th! And Kevin, I fully expect you to be in the audience--or else!!

Tonight is Kevin's send-off dinner, and tomorrow will be a lonelier day in the gym.

Have you had to part with a great trainer? How did you handle it--did you go the rest of the way on your own or find a replacement??

Monday, September 12, 2011

Archie Says Goodbye to Boyhood

Poor little poochie--Saturday Archie & his brother, Murdoch, got fixed. The vet and even the SPCA down in Virginia Beach was charging an arm and a leg and your first-born child to neuter just one of them! So in an effort to save money, and give to a local(ish) non-profit business, my mom took both of the boys to Prevent-A-Litter (aka PAL) in Richmond. Contrary to the neutering quotes both of us had gotten from our respective vets--me: ~$250 & my mom: ~$400--both the dogs only cost $60 total. Don't you just  hate when you're charged an unnecessarily absurd amount of money for something that actually only costs a fraction of the price? I don't get it...
My mom saw this in the paper Sunday.
Too funny/coincidental!
Anyway, since Richmond is about halfway between my mom's house and my apartment, and the dogs' surgeries were supposed to take all day (well, in order to make sure they're okay afterward), we decided to meet up in Williamsburg and do a little shopping. Aka have a mother-daughter day. Aka a LOT of driving: Charlottesville-->Williamsburg-->Richmond-->Williamsburg-->Virginia Beach. I may have fallen asleep in the passenger seat on the way to pick up the dogs after our shopping excursion--that rarely happens!

The Prime Premium Outlets at Williamsburg (they just renamed them) are normally hit or miss and rarely anything in between. Shockingly, Saturday was an in-between day. No real clothing bargains to be had--but at this point, I only really look at the athletic stores + JCrew anyway. However, there were a lot of random sales, meaning I walked away from the outlets with:
 That is:
Two new pairs of very "Fall" heels...
Three pairs of Reef sandals ($5 each!!)
A new mug for my oats...
And only the cutest, softest moose EVER!

And that purple Puma tank, which doesn't really need its own close-up. But was a steal at $11. Not bad at all. All courtesy of my momma. This, coupled with a Target trip (courtesy of my own bank card), and I made out pretty darn nicely!
$25 desk--yes please! Assembling it myself: priceless.
Oh yeah, see that stein on the shelf? That was filled with this bad boy minutes prior to this photo being taken:
Who said steins are just for beer? And who says you actually had to be a Darden student to get one of those? ;) Don't worry, I didn't steal it. But this reminds me--I got new protein powder Friday! I ran out (and was also getting sick of the flavor I had) on Wednesday and didn't have time to get more til Friday after work. Enter Cafe Mocha flavor--umm, delicious (doesn't even begin to describe it)!!

Getting a little side-tracked here. Back to the weekend! Sunday, more time was spent with the pups, and I hit a new recent low weight-wise! 122.2! Body fat is decreasing steadily& BMI is staying pretty decent. Meaning? Losing fat & maintaining muscle mass!! Please note: this is the first time I have actually disclosed weight on this blog, because I'm still pretty conscious of it. However, being that my goal is to get on stage and strut my stuff in front of numerous strangers (& friends), I feel it is necessary to start holding myself accountable this way. Thoughts??

So of course I celebrated how any crazy sane person would--with a run through my old neighborhood. Talk about humid! I'm also not one to workout in just a sports bra and shorts, but I had to given the weather. Baby steps people, baby steps! It was a little wet from sprinklers, so these suckers were retired to the patio to dry out stay out of reach of the hungry pups.
It was such a serene morning to run, and I passed some VERY patriotic houses. My fave was a yard that had numerous small flags adorning the grass. And the cars. And the house itself. I desperately wanted to take a picture, but I only had my ipod on me. Bummer!

The rest of the day was spent running errands, pampering the pups, and hanging out with an old high school friend that I hadn't seen in 4 years. Loads of fun! Even had a photo shoot with Archie. Don't let the pictures fool you, these were taken by professionals ;)
Someone wants a belly rub!
Murdoch doesn't like when Archie
gets all the attention. 
Nom, nom, nom.
So much love in this picture...
Sorry to jump around a bit, but I'm seriously shocked that in 2 weeks I've managed to attain what previously took me about 8 weeks. Definitely a good feeling, and only makes me more anxious/excited to see what I can accomplish in the next 10 weeks!

Which reminds me of this little conversation tidbit from Sunday night hanging out with my friend (who's in the Navy):
So how many pull ups can you do?
Umm, first set...about 10. Goes downhill from there.
Wow, I thought you were gonna say like 2 or 3!
Yeah, I don't pretend to be badass. I just am. Kidding (about the cockiness)!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wasted Wednesday

I realize this title could lead you to believe I let go of all things prep-related, went out & got drunk last night, but I promise that was not the case. Definitely not, whatsoever. Yesterday was actually my day off this week before I get the entire weekend off + Monday! So I did what any normal sleep-deprived, over-worked girl would do--practically nothing.

  • I slept in til 6:30, but for me that's an extra hour and a half of sleep.
  • I made it to the gym for some cardio and then some
  • Came home and showered/ate--am I the only person that finds it a burden to shower first when I get home from the gym because my mind is preoccupied with images of my delicious carb-less breakfast?? No? Good!
  • Caught up on Jersey Shore--aka I've only watched 1 episode this season, so I watched 4...that's right, you read correctly--FOUR! There may have been several moments while I was simultaneously eating huge pickles. Boy, did I ever feel like Snooki--minus the hair poof and the huge boobs.
  • Attended the Tropical Meteorology discussion my grad school friend, Stacy runs. Pretty much it was me, her, 2 other PhD students, and 4 professors (one of which was an old professor of mine). But yay for friend time!
  • Came home and cooked--read: threw chicken in a crockpot and avocados in the vitamix (guac anyone??). Laziest cooking ever :)
  • Turned on a movie--Easy A to be exact. And for the second time in a week, I proceeded to fall asleep in the first 5 minutes...and wake up during the last 5 minutes. But hey, for an anti-napper, I sure got a good one in yesterday!
  • I went to Stacy's for dinner--she cooked. I didn't. Oops. Bad friends don't help out in the kitchen. They just eat delicious food.
Now is a perfect time to mention that I have some really great, quality friends. There's only been a handful of times during my first fail attempt at prep, and now my second attempt, that my friends have asked what it's okay for me to eat and gone out of their way to make sure I'm not left out/deprived. Stacy and I made dinner plans last week for yesterday because her husband is out of town. The first question she immediately asked me was, "What can I make that you can eat? I know you're cutting carbs, so just let me know what I can do to accommodate you." Seriously, how SWEET is she?!?! And yes, we had a lovely meal--grilled chicken with mesquite seasoning, fresh salad with grilled veggies and strawberries, and she made a side of couscous for herself and our friend Anna.

I'm so grateful for friends like her. That's not to say that if you don't automatically go out of your way to accommodate me that I immediately think you're a jerk. But it's just so nice to know that not everyone tries to push alcohol and excess calories on me. That my friends, although they may find the whole competition/prep thing confusing and not understand why I'm doing it, do understand that there are things I cannot do (including the drinking, eating many foods, and staying up late). And that despite me breaking many a plan so I can live like an elderly person get to sleep by 10, we still call each other friends. It's a wonderful feeling!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Birthday Recap

It's about time, right? I'm officially 22 years, 1 week and going on 5 days old! Yikes! And despite my best efforts to not plan anything for my birthday, my friends went out of their way to plan for me. This post is late partially because I was waiting for Megan to send me pictures, and partially out of sheer laziness.


The day started off as usual--with a trip to Gold's! The only difference is that I got a hugely long "HAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPYYYYYYY BIIIIIIIRRRRRRRTTTTTHHHHHDDDDDAAAAAYYYYY!!!" text from Kevin on my way in. I can't say that was the exact spelling, but it was well over 160 characters, because it didn't fit into just one text :) Oh yeah, and those pesky computers at the gym tell the desk associate that it's your birthday. Luckily Tracy was working, so it was nothing embarrassing. After a workout and a delicious breakfast made for me by me, Megan got in touch with me wanting to do lunch and get manis. What girl in her right mind is going to say no to that? Unfortunately, in my efforts to not plan anything, I didn't request off of work and had to be in at 1:30, but we made perfect timing.

Lunch was Whole Foods--I was dying to try their enormous salad bar, but I ultimately opted for an Indian-inspired grain plate (made with red bean meal??) instead. Delicious! And manis resulted in this:
A few days later, still looking good!
I wish my nails would grow quicker... Loved the color too! Don't mind the steering wheel in the background; I promise I only take pictures at red lights in parking lots.

Work Can't say that I was entirely productive and I may have freaked out when a crazy loud storm rolled in and demanded that I be able to carry a flashlight around, just in case but I got my job done. Next stop: home to fix my hair and head out to dinner.


The weekend prior, Megan had asked where I wanted to go for my birthday dinner. It's no surprise to my friends that I HATE making decisions! Like seriously, I just don't like it. I don't know why, but I guess I don't want to make a choice that no one else agrees with, so I just leave it up to other people. Well, Megan was nice enough to narrow it down to a few places, and I ultimately picked The Local, which (obviously) is a local restaurant that uses, you guessed it, local ingredients. I'm pretty sure I ate wayyyy too much, but on the other hand, your birthday only comes around once a year, right??

I'm no vegetarian, but sometimes vegetarian entrees just sound more enticing to me than meat-based ones. Enter in the best turnover ever:
Summer vegetable/ricotta turnover.
Don't judge me, but I ate the whole thing. And then a slice of this:
Strawberry cake from Chandler's Bakery.
Once again, I don't like doing things myself, so even though Megan told me I had to cut the cake since I'm the birthday girl, I only did the initial cut. Then I handed off the knife to other Liz (to which I'm called "Mini-Me"). Oh, and apparently girls can't play with fire, so Martell kindly lit the candles for me.
She's a much better cake-cutter!
We are obviously scared of lighters...
A nice group of friends came out to celebrate with me! A few more were supposed to come but got tied up with work or classes (it was the 1st week of classes at UVa--always happens that way). But there to celebrate with me were:
From close left: Meryl, Stacy, Me, Liz D, Emily, Joe.
Better pic of Emily & Joe.
Martell & his sweet gf, Shelly.
The (sorta) original Gold's gang: Megan, Martell & Me.

Megan was so sweet to put this all together for me! And just when I thought that was the end of it, she gave me a present too! Totally not expecting one, let alone that it contained this:
Well, minus the green smoothie!
Flip side.
Does this mean I don't have to shower after the gym now?
Does the glass look familiar? It should! It was one of the ones we saw at Urban Outfitters before Megan and I got caught driving in a crazy thunderstorm a few weeks back. Isn't she sweet?!

Other gifts included this from Stacy:

And a gift certificate for a manicure! In case you were wondering about the card, Stacy likes to say she lives vicariously through me. But I promise this card does not reflect my real life :)

My Momma Loves Me!

My mom and I sort of have a tradition regarding gifts. It's called: she doesn't like to pick things out because she thinks I won't like them, so she either gives me her credit card info, a check, or we go shopping together at the outlets. Normally I'm the only child in my family that actually demands to likes to be surprised--my sister always picks stuff out ahead of time, my oldest brother doesn't really care too much, and my other older brother sends a detailed list of what he wants. This year Loft happened to get in some crazy cute things for fall (which always happens right before my birthday), so I opted for the CC info routine. This is what I walked away with (granted, a week before my actual birthday):
Textured jacket, 2 pairs of twill flare pants,
a really cute lace-detail shirt and black flats.
Bad lighting: a sweater jacket, a lace-trim tee,
a scoop neck tank, and trouser flare jeans.
Scoop-neck tank.
Lace trim tee.
Silver snakeskin bangle.
Trouser flare denim.
Retro sweater jacket.
Everything except the sweater jacket, bangle, and the last 2 shirts I mentioned were purchased by my mom. Did I mention I get a great discount at Loft? She also bought me some things the last time I was home, which were kinda birthday gifts, kinda just for the heck of it. I love her (and I get to see her and the pups this weekend)!!

Oh, and not to forget the VitaMix I got from my dad at the beginning of the month. Great gifts!

Now that you're entirely jealous (which was not my intent), and I've exhausted my iphoto library I'm ready for fall weather, I'll leave you to your day ahead! Have a wonderful Tuesday!!!

How do you like to receive presents for special occasions: pick it out yourself, just get money, or actually be surprised?? Most of the time I just want to be surprised, though I'll send suggestions or general categories...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

One Hundred

That's the amount of carbs I get tomorrow. For the whole week. 100g carbs. You better believe I'm going to make something amazing with oatmeal tomorrow! I need to go grocery shopping, so that's currently the only form of carbs I have that I'm actually allowed.

I met with Pleasants today--managed to lose 4lbs this week! Just about 5 more to go before I'm back to where I was prior to rescheduling this whole competition thing. He wants me to get there within the next 2 weeks, before I start my full-time job(!!). Is it crazy that I actually think I can do that? My self-doubt is currently at an all-time low, yay! And being on my feet for hours on end at Loft is helping of course. Did I mention I also lost 2% body fat while maintaining BMI. Hello, muscle! So utterly excited this go-round!

Speaking of Loft, it was a blessing in (not so much a) disguise that I got the new job. I realized today that I would not be happy as a sales lead at Loft for very long. Yesterday, my first long shift, my feet were killing me when I got home. Today was the same. It also didn't help that my entire upper body was sore, but that's another story.

I have worked at loft as an associate for so long that most of my coworkers are friends. That being said, I feel like it makes it easy for some of them to take advantage of me as their boss--i.e., low productivity. I pride myself on being productive and proving success through great results. And I can just see where some people may not want to work as hard under my supervision. That, and after a while of dealing with crazy clients (not all, just some), I get cranky. The kind of cranky that only going home and sleeping can cure. Some woman today asked if we had a "Junior's" section for her grand-daughter. Then made a fuss over us not carrying lined pants.

In case you were wondering, I do not advise doubling up on workouts when you miss a day of lifting. Wednesday was obviously a busy day for me, and everyone wanted to celebrate the good news with me upon hearing about my job offer. Factor in a coffee date with my amazing friend Stacy and dinner with my brother, Alex, and sister-in-law, Kathy, and something had to be removed from my schedule. That thing that was removed was round 2 at the gym--I was supposed to work chest. Didn't happen. Instead, I made the conscious choice to "delay" my chest workout to the next evening. At this point, I was already locked into working out lats & bis with Kevin & Bob in the morning. Come Friday, I didn't want to move a muscle, literally. I don't even want to touch my lats, that's how sore they are. Don't worry, I'm not complaining. I'm just shocked and will probably never double up 4 muscle groups again.

Can you believe it's September already?? First UVa football game of the season was today--of course I didn't go due to work. And I can smell Fall just around the corner-- oh wait, that's just my new air freshener. Last year after some Thanksgiving chaos, my mom & I decided we're going to do our own thing this year (aka she was going to do her own thing and I said I wouldn't let her be alone for the holiday). I initially wanted to do a cruise, and that's still a possibility, but we need a close port (there are no cruises leaving from Norfolk in November). If we don't do a cruise, she wants to do something where we don't have to drive far. Any suggestions? She lives in Virginia Beach, but it would be nice to do something different/have a real vacation for once! Something reasonably priced, preferably, since I'm paying for both of us-- it's an early Christmas/Bday (Dec 27th) gift for her.

P.S. Yes, it's September and I'm already talking about Thanksgiving...