Every race has some hills.

It’s funny when you read a course description for a 5k, 8k, 10k or even half and full marathons.  Almost every course description says, “fast, flat run”.  If you have ran the race before you scoff at the lies in the description.  If you have never ran the race before you curse the description around mile 1 or 2 while you battle the hills on the “fast, flat race.”

No matter what the course description says, I have learned to ignore the fact that it will be flat and easy.  That is never the case, even with life.  There are hills to climb even when you’re not expecting them.  Even when someone or something tells you that it’s a smooth downhill run.  I’ve learned to repeat the motto during incline races: ” Where there is an up, there must be a down.”  I said this throughout the Run for the Dream Half Marathon in Williamsburg where I had been told it was a smooth, flat race.  By mile 8, it was not.  It was a constant climb through trail and pavement with curves and a road pitch that killed the ankles.  That’s where I came up with that line as I struggled to keep up with the 2:15 pace team.  That mantra has been used on more than just a race course.  Lately, I feel like i’m using it more than ever!

At work we started a biggest loser weight loss challenge and I agreed to participate.  After this winter and going through some hard times and learning to be single, I could definitely use the motivation to lose some pounds I stored.  Well I haven’t lost.  Actually, I gained two pounds and the flat easy course became an uphill battle.

Spring break is one day away and the days are getting warmer and longer.  I am hoping that I can work on motivating myself both in the kitchen and outside.  Somewhere I lost my motivation almost like those slow inclines that you can’t tell are there.  I don’t know the exact moment I lost motivation to stopped caring and let myself go but before I knew it I was in the middle of a hill that I still have a long way to climb.

Today I start my new diet and over spring break I am going to cleanse myself and detoxify my body from all the junk I loaded into it.  If anyone is interested I start today and will journal as I go.  My first 5 days are planned:

Breakfast

Day 1- Fruit Smoothie

Day 2- Granola and fruit

Day 3- Fruit Smoothie

Day 4- Oatmeal and fruit parfait

Day 5- Banana Nice Cream

Lunch

Day 1- Regular Salad

Day 2- Salad wrap

Day 3- Cabbage soup

Day 4- fruit and veggie salad

Day 5- Cucumber, tomatoes & pepper vinegar salad

Dinner

Day 1- Artichoke veggie dump with rice

Day 2- Chickpea and sweet potato

Day 3- Artichoke veggie dump with rice (leftovers)

Day 4- Mushroom fajitas

Day 5-  Leftovers or pasta night

As you can tell I’m trying to stick with the fruit for breakfast, salads/greens/plants for lunch and more meals for dinner.  I can’t wait to get up this hill and finally enjoy the downward run.

 

Wishing you all the best spring breaks and Easter!

Alli Kay

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Single and Ready to Mingle…

Well world, I’m single!  As the crickets chirp in the background…

I never thought when I got engaged at 20 that by 29 I would be single and unwed.  At the time all my friends where single and not really ready to be tied down to anything in particular.  Now, I’m 29 and one of my best friends has two children and my other best friend will soon be working on number two in her marriage.  How things change!

I guess it’s life’s poetic justice that the one who thought she was so much more set in life would be the one so unset while everyone else settled in years ago.

Now, that’s not to say that it has all been in vain.  Yes, I am 29 soon going on 30 and single feeling my ovaries shriveling and drying up (TMI??) But, oh the lesson’s I’ve learned.

I’ve learned never to trust someone to the point that you are willing to leave everything behind and jump wholeheartedly and blindly into a major life decision.

I’ve learned that you learn so very much about a person just by living with them for a few short months, enough to show you the true side of their laziness and just plain disregard for partnership and cooperation.

And finally, as of this last relationship, the longest one thus far just shy of five years, that people do change.  I had always been told that “people don’t change.”  That if they cheat, lie, deceive or abuse they will always cheat, lie deceive or abuse.  What they failed to mention was that they do change but it’s a one way ticket toward the worse.

People who are bad usually never get good but people who are good can easily turn bad.  I guess a rotten apple can never unwind time but a beautiful, red, crisp apple can surely turn rotten from the inside out in no time.

So, i’m trying to get back out there and well…it’s not easy but it sure is hilarious.

I will be blogging my adventures…and in the few short days I’ve reopened myself up to the idea of dating it’s already been a roller coaster.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

 

Fall Friday Make-Up Look

fall friday 1

It’s gloomy, rainy, chilly, and I had Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane blasting in the car this morning.  That CD came out during the fall of one of my college years.  When I used to walk to class in college I would put that album on shuffle and watch the colors of the trees change along the Monongahela river.  Those were the best days of  my entire life.  When I am old and about to expire and my life plays before, I hope those days are the ones that play.

Anyway, Maroon 5 means it’s time to switch over to fall makeup.  My foundation must get lighter as my tan fades and I switch to golds and bronzes for my eyes.  I thought I’d give a little look into my makeup today.  It’s a good mash up of drug store, dollar store and high end.  Enjoy.

Face base-

  • Glamoflague cover up in medium light
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation 200
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Power 012

Contour- Lancome Blush and highlighter palettefall friday face

Eyes-           fall friday eyes 2 fall friday eyes 3 fall friday eyes

  • L.A. Colors.  gold for the inside corner, bronze orange for the lid and brownish for the crease.  Found this gem at the dollar store and the color payoff is excellent.
  • Another pallet to the right is another pallet from the dollar store that has worked well.  I use this sometimes as brow filler or liner.
  •  Final touch is Milani Eye Tech Perfection.  I love this and it makes eye liner so easy and smooth.

Brows- Lorac Pro Eyebrow Pencil.  Twistable with a spooly end to help shape brows.  Love it!! Found it at Kohls!fall friday brows

Lips- Although it usually wears off by the time I get to work I have been loving this color combo and brand mash up:

  • NYC New York Color City Proof twistable lip pencil 101
  • Clinique Think Bronze Lipstick.  Perfect bronze to nude transformation with the NYC lip pencil on top.

fall friday lips

And the finished look for a day of work:

fall friday finished

I apologize for the horrible lighting in my room.  It was 5:45 in the morning and I didn’t have my glasses on.  This was my end of the day wearablility for the makeup:

Fall Alli

I can’t wait to see what the weekend holds.  I think I enjoy Friday more than the weekend because of the excitement and anticipation I feel all day Friday.  It’s like an adrenaline rush just to make it to 3:45pm!!

Talk to you soon!

~Alli

Why I didn’t do my homework…

So this weekend I was supposed to try and crochet a weekend project.  However, that didn’t happen.  Instead what did happen was I finished up the handles to my summer beach tote (great timing now that summer is almost officially over) and then Sunday I broke things off with my fiance of four years.  Part of me is in mourning over the loss of “us” but mostly I think I’m sad that I’ve wasted another four years of my life.

I thought I’d always be with him and that he would be the guy I would settle down and marry (after two previous engagements).  Only things changed.  He changed.  I always heard of people falling out of love mainly due to one or both people changing in a relationship, I just never thought it would happen to me or that I would experience it.  He said some hurtful things last night while I tried to explain what I was feeling and go through.  All that did was confirm that all the previous times he said he was trying and things would be “different” were just empty promises.

So now I’m 29, single, and really have no one left to talk to about this.  I told myself I would wait for him to maybe get the picture and wake up and take us back to the way we used to be before success got in his way; however, I’m rapidly losing hope that anything will change.

I want the fairy tale ending, the romantic comedy denouement, I want him to change and come running back saying he was sorry.  But he likes this self centered, greed and ambition driven person he has become.  He has created such a machine in himself that any type of romanticism or love is gone and had been disappearing for awhile.  And what kills me is that he is happy.

I could feel myself being pulled down by it and I had to explain it to him again for the millionth discussion and unfortunately he said things that showed me true colors and what he really thought when he was masking his thoughts to appease me for a few more months.  Instead of shaking my head and holding onto hope for more months I decided to tell him it was best if we went separate ways.

Now i’m regretting it.  Part of me knows what I did was right but part of me feels so sad for the time we are losing together.  I just wish I knew which feeling was the one that was right.  I know it would be hard but I want to know I am not making the wrong decision.

Maybe my readers or anyone who travels across this blog can give me some advice….please…

It’s Friday, Friday, We’re gunna get down on Friday!!

Actually, no.  I will most likely NOT be getting down this Friday due to a cold that my lovely elementary schoolers gifted me.  I woke up yesterday feeling extra tired. I mean who doesn’t feel tired after going to bed at 12am and waking up at 5am?  But on my hour drive to work I could feel the swelling in my throat just beginning and I knew.  By the end of the work day, my throat was burning and my nose was building its blockade.  Today, I sit here at my desk on planning block and shiver.  I’ve been taking medicine as well as Zicam which I blindly believe will cure this cold faster…we’ll see about that.

However, today there is a chill in the air, I am feeling under the weather as I usually do at the start of each school year, and the leaves are starting to turn which can only mean one thing.  My favorite time of the year is approaching!  Sweater weather, and tea…Hoodies and boots…heaters and hot showers!  These are the days that make me want to get work done so I can relax inside the rest of the day.

Therefore, I am looking for a quick and easy crochet pattern for this weekend.  Although Saturday looks to be busy:

  • Volunteer at Mulberry Half-marathon and 5k with the Penninsula Track Club
  • Swim at Chris’ pool
  • Work on some intervention ideas for my struggling readers
  • Bike and Run

I hope that I can fit in some warm snuggle time with my pups and a skein of yarn.  I found this:

button cowl

It looks beautiful.  I’m not sure yet what color I will use but I have plenty of skeins and this pattern assures me it will only take 1.5 and should be completed in a weekend.  It is the Margaret Button Cowl by Jennifer Dickerson on the Fiber Flux blog.  I simply searched “weekend crochet patterns” on Pinterest.

We shall put the pattern to the crochet Pinter-test this weekend and if it can be done I will snap a pic for you!

Wish me luck…Is it 3:30pm yet???

Friday

Beans, beans, the more you eat the more you…..??

….get healthy right?! You knew that’s what I was going to say!  So last night was hectic to say the least.  I rushed home from work which is really just a saying because my commute is an hour so rushing is really out of the picture; but stick with me here, so I rushed home from work and got ready for the gym.  I have about 45 minutes to spare between arriving home and leaving so I used that time to start putting together my raised garden bed frame I bought.  Yet another venture into the healthy lifestyle not mentioning that I have killed every house plant I have ever owned.  I’ll let you know how that goes… Then I busted butt at the gym outside and rushed home again to cut the backyard before the thunderstorms today.  On a positive note I did finish but the remaining yard was in the dark so we’ll find out today how well I actually mowed those areas.  Finally, I got down to dinner!

On to the recipe and review:

Ingredients

  • 2 cans washed and drained black beans (2 cans will get you leftovers even after filling 7 small tortilla shells)
  • 1 1/2- 2 bell peppers sliced colors of your choosing
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • olive oil or grape seed oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • tortillas (I used the small ones but any size is possible)

Directions

  • Heat skillet and oil on medium heat
  • Saute veggies until almost done add in spices and mix in saute
  • Add in black beans and saute a few more minutes to heat beans
  • Add any more spices necessary to taste
  • fill tortillas and add salsa or place fajita mix over rice.
  • ENJOY!!

They were so easy to make and tasty too.  I forgot to buy onions which was a real bummer and I think the fajita would have tasted even better.  I noticed I needed to add in more spices than called for in the recipe only because after taste testing during the sauteing I thought it was sort of bland.  I ate 3 small tortillas filled and was stuffed.  Overall it was a great dinner and next time I’ll remember to buy the onions.  It made such a nice amount that I was able to pack two tortillas for lunch, two more for another late night and still had some fajita mix to save and put over rice for another lunch.  Of course I am only feeding one so if you have a larger family you would have to plan accordingly but you can picture how much 2 cans made.

So far I don’t feel restricted at all with this plant based/raw/vegan lifestyle and I am full which when restricting calories eating meat always left me craving sugar.  I don’t have to count calories which always messed with my mind in previous eating habits.

Maybe I’ll do a “What’s in My Lunch Bag?” blog for you another day.  Let me know in the comments if that’s something worthwhile that you would want to read about.

Coming up in the next blog entry– My raised garden bed review (once I have it built and filled)

Where have I been all this time?!

It certainly has been a minute since I last composed a blog post.  Things got crazy and I am just rounding the corner and dealing with things.  I found out that my very first real boyfriend of almost three years, the reason I relocated from Pennsylvania to Virginia, my first true love and ex-fiance passed away on Christmas Day.  He was thirty years old, had a one year old daughter and a family that loved and supported him but unfortunately that was not enough to keep him on this earth and he removed himself, alone and away from all family.  At first I was angry because even though he was no longer with his daughter’s mother, he still was her father and she will need him for the rest of her life.  I was angry because it was such a selfish thing to do in my eyes but I understand how the lowest of the lows can force us to do unnatural things.  Then I got very sad.  He reached out to me through a Facebook message in November expressing feelings I had not heard from him in years.  At this point I was with my current fiance for almost three years and engaged to him.  I expressed the need for him to try and make amends with his ex-girlfriend because his connection to her was infinite as well as his duty as a good dad to his daughter.  Once the anger wore off and the earlier message hit me I realized that my no nonsense approach could have been a reason for his later decision.  Then the guilt took hold.  I thought of him in everything I did, everything I saw and everything I heard.  I’ve come to an understanding with myself that I had been out of his picture for years and that there was nothing I could have done to resolve his problems.  Today I am better.  I will never get over it but neither will his daughter or his ex-girlfriend and for them I can only wish the best.

Add into that mix doctorate level courses to complete my Ed.D coursework prior to my dissertation work and a full time job and I was what you would call overwhelmed.  Things are calming down, my class this quarter is less complex, work is soon coming to a close and the weather is approaching full spring bloom!!

I finished my marathon in March.  After being told that I would not be under 5 hours for my first marathon and due to late snow that shorted my training window (yes, i’m a wimp I know) I finished in 4 hours and 46 minutes.  Aside from three toenails that were later victims of the marathon, I felt great and still do.  However, it never fails; I run a long race such as a half or a full and I lose all desire to run.  I’m sure it will come back especially now that the weather is more inviting but I have not run since the marathon in March.

I’ve been working outside, getting my eating habits back in order and am committing to a better gym regimen post-flu that struck after the marathon.  But…I’m Back and it feels good.  I want to be stronger and healthier and I have committed to a plant-based diet with the exception of fish and tonight is my first dinner: Black Bean fajitas!! Stay tuned for a recipe and recipe review!

Today is a boot-camp day which is the YMCA’s version of Cross fit and then I plan to get more yard work completed.  Soon the school year will be over and my 7th year of teaching will be finished.  I have big plans for the rest of the year and this summer.  I hope you are excited to tag along with me.  Just one more thing in case you didn’t realize… I’M BACK!!!

I’m going to miss you Christmas

Winter Break has been exceptionally good to me this year.  The rest was much needed and deserved.  I know I am well rested and relaxed when I have lost track of the day of the week.  Until 2pm today I could have sworn it was Thursday…oops!  With that said I am eagerly awaiting New Years.  All 2014 year long I have made a list of resolutions I would start in the New Year of 2015.  Some would call that procrastinating..but I call it preparing and looking ahead to the future 🙂  It’s all in your perception.

1.  Health will continue to be at the forefront- although I thought it was this year, only to end up yo-yo-ing my weight and weighing exactly the same at the end of 2014 as I started it.

2.  Running will continue as well as the search for innumerable reasons that I can find each day not to run- the rain, the wind, “oh it’s too sunny out”, I don’t have warm enough running clothes…

3.  Vlogging may be something I try.  I’ve watched the you-tubers I subscribe to for years now and it’s to the point where I say: “My life is the same amount of uneventful as theirs; I can do that too.”  Mainly, I want to add one more piece of technology to my plate that I’m sure I can’t swallow…Most likely I’ll choke on it.

4.  My book will get finished- now hear me when I say “finished”, I didn’t say published.  I highly doubt it will ever be published but a girl can dream right?

5.  I will start my next book on the teaching profession.  Perusing the education books at Barnes and Noble has shown me just how seriously educators want to be taken when I know for a fact what a joke they are.  My fiance and I have collected stories and ideas during our years in the teaching profession for a collection that we have always wanted to write.  I’ve always thought that when you get an idea for a book you would want to read you should go ahead and write it.  Maybe we can add something with a little spice to the bland shelf.

Now for your entertainment some Christmas pictures and restful pups:

Christmas 2014-1 Christmas 2014-2 Christmas 2014-3