Saturday, July 30, 2011

weekend adventure

It seems like it was only a few hours ago that I rolled out of bed, but it’s almost 8:30 in the evening,  How did a day that started out so slow end so fast?

My alarm went off at 7:30 this morning, but I refused to get up and hit the alarm several times before finally rolling out of bed shortly after 8.  Once I had my morning coffee I was awake enough to begin my laundry.  It made things easier since all my laundry fit into one load.  After breakfast, English muffin with plain Greek yogurt, honey and sliced strawberries, I hung a few things on the cloths line and put the rest in the dryer. 

The plan was to be at my friend Andrew's by 9:15, which gave me enough time to stop by city island to make sure no one was waiting there to carpool for the hike, but it ended up being the time I left the house causing a bit of delay to the schedule.  I arrived at 10:35 and was greeted by one of his roommates who said neither Andrew nor Dave were there.  I called Andrew to find out where he was at, especially since I talked to them just two days ago and said I would be here at 10:30 to pick him and Dave up.  He vaguely remembered me saying that a few minutes later and apologized for not calling to tell me they had decided to go kayaking.  He did say they were thinking about going hiking tomorrow and if I as up for it I could join them.  It hurt knowing that he forgot and also because it meant he wasn't looking forward to hanging out with me as I was with him.   He's one of my only healthy lifestyle guys who actually enjoys doing things outside with me and it's been a month if not longer since our schedules have worked out for some hang time.

I decided even though I was going to be late to make a pit stop at city island.  I didn't want anyone there waiting and I was relieved to see non one so I followed the sign to hw22, but it felt like I was being led int the wrong direction, which then only frustrated me.  I finally arrived to the hiking location apologizing because I was 30 minutes late.   At least the girls were there and we ended up having a really great time.  Jen is a new member of my Fit Foodies Group and and Janean has been a regular since we started in May.  It’s nice to finally have some of the new members come to the events and seeing how the group is starting to bloom.  Jen was really cool and I’m glad I had an opportunity to get to know her today.  It was a very fun and challenging hike and we ended  up missing a few blue marker and found our way onto the white, and pink trails.  The bugs were out in high numbers today and it felt like they all had their eyes on us.   I even had a big spider land on my hand; yes I jumped and screamed like a girl trying to fling it off.  I'm sure it was a funny scene. 

We had several conversations of topic we discussed during our hiking adventure from Yoga, work and the group.  Jen talked about some ideas for group events and it made me smile to hear the same ideas that drew me to start the group.

After the hike I headed home and began packing for my house sitting adventure.  A friend is heading out of town for a few days and I’m watching her dog for her.  If you don’t count her eating my bagel out of my grocery bag the dog has been very well behaved.  I’ve already started settling in and even cooked tonight surprise-surprise, especially since I just haven’t been in the cooking mood.   I made 3 batches of Oatterific Banana Scramble,which I’ll have for breakfast on an English muffin with plain Greek yogurt and strawberries.  Yes, I actually put together a meal plan for the week and I’m pretty excited about it.  Hopefully, some time tomorrow I’ll make the Tenley Salad.

It’s now closer to 10 and I made sure to take the dog out one more time and came back to finish the post and now my eyes are telling me it’s time for bed.

What type of adventure did you guys have this weekend?  Did you try any fun or delicious recipes?

upcoming fit foodies events:
1) Panera Bread gathering.  I’ll be offering 3 dates, most likely the week of August 8th.  A Monday, Wednesday and Sunday to see what date is better for everyone so we can get together and discuss ideas and give suggestions for events and to see what people feel about the option below.

2) We are hoping to have an ongoing meet-up either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly depending on the availability and want for those who are interested.  The purpose as Jen put it would be like a Weight Watchers meeting without the public weighing.  A place where we can encourage each other on staying fit and healthy.  Hopefully, others will like the idea and we can host it at a different person's house each meet-up.  We would also bring ingredients for a meal that we will prepare and share that night.  I suggested using Tenley Salad which also has a side of Asparagus.  There are enough equally priced items in the recipe that everyone could bring them and not be overwhelmed with the cost of the meal and its home cooked and qualifies as a love me recipe.

planned weekly eats
breakfast: Oatterific Banana Scramble w english muffin

snacks: chobani plain yogurt w granola + blueberries
lunch:  Tenley Salad w asparagus
snack: pita chips and mango salsa
dinner: can't remember, will add later

strong and sexy challenge
I also came across a 4-week workout challenge called Strong and Sexy by Casey Lorraine.  I'm going to look more into to it and maybe join for a week or two just for something new.  She has a mantra for you to say everyday of each week during the challenge and assigns a bodyrock workout or a rest day (or other workout) for you to complete for the day. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

ready, set, goal

It still seems unreal how things are unfolding in my life. It was only last week I was wondering if buying a house was even an option for me and now I'm super excited to say IT IS! Just Tuesday a friend recommended a real estate agent, who then referred me to a broker who worked his magic. I almost fell off my seat when he told me I was pre-qualified for a 100k.  I know it's not much, but it's all I need for what I'm looking for.  I'm not looking for a family home, just a 2 bedroom with all the modern features. and it's more then I thought I would qualify for.  I  don't much a year, especially working for a non-profit then tack on my student loans and credit card debt and I thought for sure I wouldn't be able to qualify for anything especially on my own. Luckily, I've been paying down my debt, which in turn has been creating a better credit report/score (now 666), which has definitely been a huge benefit. God knows your path even when you don't. I would never have qualified if I hadn't paid off as I did this last year.

The broker gave me 2 requirements before I can actually buy a home.
1) pay down all my credit cards to $0 and DO NOT close them.
2) have 3% in cash, whether by gift or savings

After paying a few bills and zeroing out 2 credit cards with my tax return I still had some left over, which I decided to use as a buffer, since my evening job wasn't producing any hours.  When we began searching for an apartment I knew it would come in handy for a security deposit.  Then when my mom and I started talking about buying she felt it would be best used for part of the down payment.  I had in mind what I wanted to do, but wanted to see what my broker felt would be the best way to use my savings.  He advised me to zero out my cards now that way while I'm saving for my down payment my credit report/score can be repairing itself.  He strongly advised me NOT TO CLOSE my cards, as it would hurt my score.  I took his advise and used the $800 I had left over to pay off  my larger and older cards and what I had left over I used to make a payment on my newer ones (see table below).  Once our hours begin up again in August I'll be  working extra hard to raise enough money in the next few months for my down payment and selling a few things to help add up the balance. 

I'm so proud of the progress I've made only in the span of 1 day and it's so beautiful to finally see my lasik balance zero'd out and eliminate the $40 a month I was paying the consolidation company that I can now put in my own pocket.   Here is my current progress and the pay down date I have scheduled.

cardbalancepayment new balancedate of payment
best buy$181.44$181.44 $0 08/01/11
bill me later$120.36 $60 $60.36 07/28/11
TJ Maxx$133.53$0 $133.53-
lasik $715.21$715.21 $0 08/02/11
totals$1150.54$956.65 $193.89

My TJ Maxx card I sadly just got.  I saw a patio set there that I sooo wanted and it would have been perfect for the apartment we were looking at off Trindle, but now that I'm looking at buying I'm most likely going to just return it.  Though depending on how many hours I can get I may just pay if off and keep it.  Still undecided on that one.  I'll try to post a pick soon so you can understand why.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

a plan not my own

I feel disheartened, but I know that things are lining up with God.  Today I found out that an apartment that made me feel alive, like I knew there was no other place for me was rented out before I was able to turn in my application.  

(the apartment via googlemaps w the cars blacked out)

I had the opportunity to view the apartment on Friday with my mom, and I was even more excited when I saw the interior and how beautiful and perfect it was.  I was even  more delighted when she gave me an application, but there were so many papers to fill out and requirements that I felt like I was buying a house.  I understand and respect her desire to fill the occupancy with a tenant who fits in with her current tenants., but I felt like the expectation level on me would have been unattainable and I would constantly be on my guard not to mess up and I knew that was no way to live.   

After taking a few days to think about the commitment and gathering all the paperwork I felt at peace knowing that this was not a direction I was going to be taking.  I love how God slowly changes your heart  to accept plans that are not your own even when only a few days have past.  He's amazing that way.  He has  directed me in a slightly different direction that I'm loving and  truly feel at peace with and I can't wait to see what else  He opens my heart to in this adventure called my life. 

(the cute little cottage in camp hill)

Last week I saw a yellow cottage in Camp Hill that I thought was adorable and since hen I've seen 2 other places that I would consider buying and are even less than the cottage and include hardwood floors..  I'm not sure with my income bracket and my credit history (even thought it's improved) that  buying a house would  be a viable option, but at least I'm taking a chance to find out.  I've never been so at peace then I do now about buying a place.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

yoga brain

This weekend has been so crazy and I spent most of yesterday running around, then once I finished made it to church and Texas Road House afterward with some friends.  Today I slept in, which was so nice, and once I was ready I headed to the shed to clean out.  I really needed to go through everything and make a new list of items I have in the shed so today was the day I took the bull by the horns and cleaned house.  I was surprised at how much I actaully was able to take out and get cleaned up for our yardsale.  I even managed to pick a few things from my room to add to the pile.

It took longer than it should, but it was super hot outside and once I came inside to clean up my things and price everything I turned on the TV, which slowed me down a bit and I stopped while drop dead diva came on at 9pm.  My room is still in a small chaotic mess, but hopefully it will look better shortly.

After my show ended I worked on my meal plan for the week.  I wont be able to do much for tomorrow, but I'll have to head for groceries tomorrow.  I'm trying to keep from having to cook to much, just because it's been so hot and I really haven't felt like cooking. 

planned weekly eats
breakfast: banana + honey smoothie 
snacks: peanut butter & banana
lunch:  Turkey, Pear Sandwich w cherry tomatoes
post workout: tone it up protein pancakes
snack: protein bar + carrots
dinner: tbd

yoga brain
I've been wanting to do Yoga lately, but just haven't had the funds to enjoy the studio I prefer and after reading a post from Heather Eats Almond Butter I was reminded to do a google search for other options in my area; as well as some other short workouts to add to my running workout.  One of the studios offers a free class Sunday's at 11am {tips}, so I hope to be able to attend that class soon.

20 minute level 1-2 Yoga Class Podcast
Drop and Give me 10
Just Plain yoga
be fit yoga

week 4 basic schedule
Evening Walk
2.25 mile Run
30-60 minute walk/run or rest
1.5mile run
2.25 mile Run
45-60 min walk

Thursday, July 7, 2011

the slug bug

The last few day's my energy level has reached a low point and I really don't like it.  I have added so many things onto my plate and then I have a few things coming up with family that I need to reschedule other events.  It's just going to be a crazy month of figuring things out and really seeing what I want to do.  I'll be doing a lot of processing, and none of it is going to be easy.  I know I already feel like my head is ready to explode.  I'll be happy once these things are done and I've had some time to make the right decision.

Working on this now was to allow enough time to make an informed and educated decision and not be forced to make a pressured decision I will regret.  Though I think because I'm already feeling a little pressure I'm going to need to step back, because I'm in no hurry and I shouldn't feel like I have to be.

My family is having a yard sale next weekend, which I'm so not ready for and then my dad is having gull stone surgary on the 14th and he and his wife and her kids will be moving to their new place, which I offered to help out since my dad wont be able to help out.

I was excited yesterday when I was out and about and found a really cute 3-drawer shabby chic dresser with art nouveau style mirror and all for FREE.  The base and structure are in good condition, but the paint needs to be refinished.  I'm really not a crafty person, nor have I ever stripped paint, but I'm looking forward to turning this into a really cute dressing table.  I'll use the bottom two drawers for my unmentionables and then the top drawer will contain my makeup, flat iron and other primping items that I don't really have room for in the bathroom.

the week +next weeks plan
* downsize
* go through shed and purge
* purge files
* clear out items in my bedroom that I'm not using
* create a sale sign for my dresser and IKEA couch
* post dresser and IKEA couch on craigslist.
* buy paint remover
* take photo of new/used dresser
* buy pretty yellow paint + a paint brush
* plan a better meal plan

Sunday, July 3, 2011

sunny side down

I've just had such a crazy week and yesterday didn't slow down either and with an unhappy tummy from all the crap I ate yesterday is adding to my sluggish feeling today and the lack of desire to do anything.  I do plan on kicking my butt out the door and running at least 2 miles today so I can get some fresh air.  Part of me wants to hit city island, but I'm not sure I want to drive all the way over there since I'm in a hidden part of Harrisburg this week.  I still have access to the gym until the 11th, so I could head there and shower afterward, but not sure if I want to drag all my showering and primping gear with me either. 

I've just been chilling solo today, which is nice, but have to gather supplies from the house so I can make no-knead bread, oatmeal bars and  protein pancakes this week.  It will be nice to use the stove and oven without feeling like my every move is being watched.  I love my roommates, but I don't have much freedom or privacy there.  We are getting along right now, but I've also not been home a lot for us to find things to fight about.  I'm really hoping that by next summer I'll be in a better financial place to be on my own.

todays plan
* stop by house for baking supplies
* run 2 miles
* shower
* finish caparison chart
* drop off rent
* pick up Sunday paper for coupons
* process everything from yesterday {though that could take another week}

Just thinking about my finances right now makes me feel like I'm stuck in a black hole, even thought I've made significant strides since moving back to Pennsylvania a year and a half ago.  I just wish I didn't have so much college debt ahead of me; that's really the part that makes me feel like I'm in a black hole.  I know it's only going to get worse as the years pass and my minimum payment increases, yes my yearly incomes will still be the same.   It's hard only making 25k gross a year, but I love my job so I don't want to leave, but I really do need to make more money so I can pay off my student loans.  I just have to keep pushing forward and working hard and I know God will continue to bless the way.  He knew things would be better for me out here, and even though I didn't want to admit that coming back home would be a benefit for me....He was right.  I would never have made such progress in my finances without coming back home.

Friday, July 1, 2011

fit n' the summer (m1-d13)


Once I rolled out of bed I gathered my new Brooks Ghost 4's, which I wasn't sure how I would like running in, but they felt really good on my feet. The added cushion was very nice. I'm still not a fan of the color or the new style, but I think it's because the denim mesh is just to obnoxious.  I prefer the green/silver, like I already have, but the store owner ordered the blue/denim.. I wish he would have asked me what color I wanted before he ordered them and I didn't think about it or even when I went to pick them up.  I was just disappointed of the color and wans't sure of the feel.  I'll have to clean them off and see if he can order the green/siler instead.  I really hate the blue/denim and if I'm going to spend $100 on a pair of running shoes then I want to choose my color. 

I headed around the neighborhood this morning and completed a 1.74 mile run and I even went up a few hills without to much trouble.  I could have gone a little longer, but I didn't have any more time, plus I needed to perform my bootcamp workout {the reason why my shoes are dirty, went through the baseball field}.

pre-run: medjool date + 1/2 orange
post run:  vanilla protein shake + Glutamine
breakfast:  cup Kashi go lean cereal + soy milk + blueberries
snack #1:
lunch: oatmeal, strawberries, 1/2 activia blueberry yogurt, walnuts + 4 baby carrots
snack #2: 1/2 activia blueberry yogurt + 1/2 avocado
dinner: tbd