Monday, January 31, 2011

I really might be snowed in!

From the weather channel/

Lakeshore Flood Watch for:

Winter Storm Alertsback to top
Blizzard Watch for:
De Kalb
La Salle

Guess where I live? C(r)ook county. And I work in Winnebago. My office area(about 1 hr from home) is expected to get 1-3 inches today and up to 12 inches tomorrow through Wednesday. At home we're expected to get 2-4 today, 12-18 tomorrow through Wednesday. I've already told the guys not to expect me in on Wednesday. I plan on going to the store and holing up in the condo. There is no point in me driving the hour to work, THROUGH the blizzard, especially since most of the guys won't be here either. Is it summer yet? *sigh* Just about a month and two weeks and I'll be in VA beach with my gorgeous friend Em.

How was everyone's weekend? Mine was great. It was exactly what I needed. The plan was to go down to Springfield to help a friend pack up her house and bring back a Jeep load of stuff. Well......we ended up meeting with some guys we deployed with for lunch on Saturday and well, wasted the day away. BUT, it was so worth it because the guys are always good for a laugh and a good time. We did get some packing done Sunday and were able to make it back to Chicagoland at a decent hour.

I have school tonight and(maybe) tomorrow. I was up late last night doing my Spanish homework which was due at midnight. Yeah, no more waiting until the last minute, I'm TIRED. But at least if I'm snowed in I have some time to get ahead on some homework. I'm also working on reconfiguring my budget to adjust to some things. I'll let you all in on the life changing things soon, promise! Just right now; if you're a praying person, I could use the extra prayers. If you're not, any extra good thoughts/juju/dust would be greatly appreciated for right now.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'll be snowed in

at the Blizzard Bloghop!
Blizzard  Bloghop 2010 hosted by Household 6 Diva

This is the first blog hop I've done so bear with me. As part of her blog hop which I found on Goodnight Moon we're supposed to write an intro about ourselves so here it is.

I'm an Army brat, born in Fort Stewart, GA and moved around until I was about 10. My family settled in down state Illinois where I graduated high school and ran off to join the Army National Guard. I went to basic & AIT(advanced individual training) in 2005 until early 2006. In June 2006 I deployed to Iraq until Sept 2007. I came home and did a year tour on active duty at Fort Knox, KY training Guard/Reserve Soldiers who were set to deploy. I moved to Chicagoland(which is like Disneyland only colder) with my then BF. I hopped jobs for a while until this last year I landed a job with the state police as a counterdrug analyst. I love my job and hope to become a sworn officer someday. I'm currently in school pursuing my AAS with a major in Law Enforcement and training for a half marathon with my friend Em in March! We're raising money for the wounded warrior project and would love to give them a big check the day of our race. That's pretty much it I think, I know, I'm boring. ;)

Now, I'm a firm believer in military members/families/spouses being a tight knit community but this blog hop isn't just for them. We love when people who have no affiliation with the military read our stories, share comments with us, or just say hi so come on over for the Blizzard Bloghop!

My life saver

So I was reading the blog of a girl named Jacki AKA "The Restless Blogger" and she talked about her winter skin woes. I frequent a health and fitness message board and a few weeks ago we talked about our favorite face moisturizers. I have *super* sensitive skin. As in too much of anything and I break out like a teenager, too little and my face is peeling, dry and itchy. I also have (self-diagnosed) eczema so I stay away from things with fragrances or harsh chemicals which tend to cause flare ups. So I have a product rave.

This is by far the best face lotion I've ever used. I've only been using it about two weeks but already have seen SO much improvement in my skin.

Previously I'd been using the Clinique 3 step system. I do love this system, it's gentle and helps keep my face clear. I actually use the bar soap instead of the liquid because it helps exfoliate without drying out too much. But sorry Clinique, the moisturizer just wasn't cutting it this winter.

I kept the same face wash/cleanser and just swapped moisturizers. HUGE difference. My skin isn't flaky but not oily either. I put a bit on the driest parts of my face(along my hair line, nose, cheek bones/under eyes) in the morning pre-make up. I let the moisturizer sit for about 5 minutes(get dressed, brush my teeth or something in the mean time) then put on my make up. I've discovered that this keeps me from looking cakey or oily. It gives the lotion time to absorb. I also take about 5 minutes in between my liquid foundation and powder(both also clinique, I can find the exact names if anyone is interested.)

At night, I wash my face with the 3 step system and slather on my Aveeno. I mean I put a whole bunch on there. I make sure to rub it in around the driest areas. A big key to moisturizing is to make sure you exfoliate. Sounds counter productive right? But if all you have is dead skin on top, where is the moisturizer going? No where. It's just sitting there. I don't use rough exfoliators like St. Ives or anything grimy, my bar soap works just fine. Hope this helps y'all!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm not good at this

Things have been hectic. Getting settled into a new routine with school, work is crazy and I'm helping a friend move. There are also some big changes going on in my life right now but I don't feel ready to discuss them yet. Just know that I am reading everyone's blogs and thinking I need to set up this google reader thing so I can read both blogspot and wordpress stuff.

My workouts have sucked, I've gone to the gym a few times but it's been hard to get out and run. I can handle cold, but -20 windchill is a bit much for me. The wind just hurts and it's not worth it. Plus it won't stop SNOWING. I cleaned off my Jeep 4 out of 7 days last week. Seriously, enough already Mother Nature. My bag's packed so hopefully I can get out for a run tomorrow afternoon before I leave work. I did just book my ticket for VA Beach! I can't wait for March. Speaking of, still looking for donations for the Wounded Warrior Project!

Stay well everyone!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Time to go to the Dr.

So I have this habit of things happen, and I put it off. I get sick, I live with it. I hurt my elbow, I live with it. So then the once in a while I head to the Dr. I have a list a mile long. Ha! Now that my insurance situation is settled, it's time to suck it up and head up there. It's been over 8 weeks since I've had my thyroid checked(bad I know) and I need to figure out why the heck I keep getting sick. I know it's the time of year but seriously? Plus hopefully she can give me some insight on this stupid elbow thing. Ugh, but I haaaaate going to the doctor.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

And so it begins

For my on campus classes; Criminal Law and Criminal Procedures.

For my on-line class to refresh my Spanish speaking skills.

And if the Army can ever figure out what the heck happened to my enrollment, I'll be enrolled in an Advanced Leader Course to do online with them.

Plus working full time, plus trying to have a social life, plus half marathon training means my posts will probably start to space out a bit more. Sorry in advance. I'm 8 classes away from finishing my AAS(Associates in Applied Science) so I really want to focus and hopefully be done by this fall.

I also have another injury to report, well, maybe. My elbow has been super sore since last Friday(ish). Like it's fine, as long as I don't move it. This becomes a problem on strength days when I like to lift. Therefore I'm resting and doing strength in other ways. Seriously 2011, enough already.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I have found the cure for the common cold!

A 2 mile run in 23* weather. I can finally breathe through my nose and my chest feels lighter. Should have done this a few days ago. Now I'm off to get ready for drill. See y'all on Sunday!

Oh...and GO STEELERS! Beat those birds!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I am an odd duck

As long as I can remember, I have never like creamed corn. Ever. I can't stand the texture. My mom used to mix 1 can of creamed corn with 1 can of regular corn because it's the only way I will eat it. So that's what we had as a side dish for dinner.

Tonight's dinner was baked dijon chicken from

I changed her recipe just a smidge because of what I had on hand.

* 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
* 3 tbsp spicy mustard
* 1 tbsp Greek yogurt
* 1 clove garlic, crushed
* 3/4 tsp pepper
* salt
* dried parsley

Preheat oven to 400°. Rinse the chicken and remove the skin and all fat. Pat dry; place in a large bowl and season generously with salt. In a small bowl combine spicy mustard yogurt,garlic and pepper. Mix well. Pour over chicken, tossing well to coat.

I oiled up small baking pan, you could use Pam but I never do. Place chicken to fit in a single layer. Top the chicken with dried parsley. Bake until cooked through, about 30-35 minutes.

She recommends finishing it in the broiler to get it nice and brown, mine were already brown so I didn't bother.

On the side I made quinoa with a bit of a twist stolen from the Clean Eating Machines

I didn't have the fresh lemon she recommends so basically I did it like this.

After the quinoa was done in my rice cooker, I added a bit of EVOO, lemon & pepper spice mix(I think it's a Trader Joes something or other) and a bit of dried thyme. This was really flavorful, I didn't even use soy sauce or anything over it like I normally do. IG even had two helpings, which is rare since he's not a huge quinoa fan.

I'll be out of the loop for the next few days. We have a 3 day drill weekend and it's out in the middle of nowhere where you can barely get cell reception; so I'm not even going to take my laptop. I'm going to attempt to run tomorrow before we leave and depending on our schedule, again on Sunday. Saturday I can probably get some cross training in since I think we're supposed to do combatives (MMA style fighting). Tomorrow is supposed to be a rest day but since I've taken time off with this cold I need to get back in it. See y'all later, have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I have been quarantined

To my room. The cat won't even come in here. The hubs brought me food and then retreated to our office/spare room. *le sigh* Stupid sickness. Guess I'll watch a movie and head to bed. I attempted to run today, made it a few blocks before I couldn't breathe and had to stop. I want to run. ::: whimper :::

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 can suck it

Unless it gets it's stuff together and starts being nicer to me. For real. We're only 10 days into January and I want to cry.

- Our property taxes went up, a lot. Well, ok this was 2010 but it affects 2011's payments.

- Our mortgage went up, a lot. Like almost $300 a lot. We're now living outside the housing allowance I get plus we have association fees on top of that. Awesome.

- The bank's computers messed up around the 1st of the month and I spent a week freaking out because our mortgage payment hadn't come out yet. Luckily that all got sorted.

- I rolled my ankle my first week of half training.

- I tweaked my bad knee this last weekend snowboarding(which is by far the best part of 2011 so far).

- The people who have to put in saying I'm eligible for the military's health insurance somehow lost my new orders. I called today to make an appt and they say I have no insurance. Awesome.

- I came out from work today and someone hit my Jeep. It's dented and scratched over the rear tire well. No note, no accident report, just some jerk who took off. Awesome.

- The husband is going to be gone a lot over the next few months, I start school on Tuesday, have drill this weekend(so no break) and am sick. So I'm having a pity party. YAY Me!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Snowboarding is one heck of a work out. And I took a good spill that tweaked my bad knee. No run for me tomorrow. I'll be lucky to get out of bed in the morning. Praise the Lord we have a garden/jacuzzi tub in our master bedroom.

Friday, January 7, 2011

We're a mile high!

In Denver! My posts will be scarce as we see the sights and hit the slopes! Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Good news/bad news

Good news: My lululemon tights are done getting altered and I can go pick them up.
Bad news: the store is a half hour from home and in the opposite direction of my office. Hopefully I can get them tonight.

Good news: BUCKEYES WON!
Bad news: I was up late.

Bad news: I was up late watching the game and didn't get up for pilates but the
Good news: I had enough time to go to the gym before work so I swam this morning.

Sorry to switch the last one but I always want to end on a good note. :)

Happy hump day!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Know what I hate?

Rolling my ankle. I never in my life ever had issues with my ankle until right before my deployment in 2006. During deployment I had a pretty nasty sprain after I stepped in a hole(hardy har har, I'm a klutz). Now I roll it ALL the damn time. So annoying. Usually it's only a day or two of rest and I'm fine but some days are better than others. That's what happened during my run today. Awesome.

Know what I hate more? A crappy run. My scheduled 3 mi run turned into 2.6 because I just couldn't finish that last little bit because my ankle was throbbing. I rolled it around 1.5 but kept chugging thinking it'd be ok. Wrong. So now I'm in a bad mood and DH wanted pizza to watch the Sugar Bowl so I gave in. Pizza is on the way and I'm trying not to beat myself up about a semi crappy run.

On a positive note(maybe) today is indeed the Sugar Bowl and we in this house are Buckeyes fans. So, I leave you saying GO BUCKEYES!

Review of Hatha yoga class

I really enjoyed it. The instructor was actually also my pilates instructor; so I think that helped since I kind of knew her teaching style. After 30 minutes on the stair stepper and an hour of yoga I was a bit tired when I got home. Luckily, I had packed my breakfast and snacks while I was making dinner last night so I came home and pretty much went straight to bed. For breakfast I used leftover quinoa from dinner, added honey and some strawberries and blueberries. Thanks Em for the idea! Plus two hard boiled egg whites. Then I cut up some celery for a snack.

Today I have to get 3 miles in. Hopefully work isn't too busy and I can go this afternoon when it's warmer. Warmer means maybe 20*. Awesome.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Week 1 half marathon training

Here's how week 1 went. It was a little tricky to start out and have a holiday in there but I got it done.

Monday was stretch and strength - stretched at home, missed yoga.
Tuesday was a 3 mi run - did two miles of "hills" on the TM
Wednesday was 2 mi run or cross - did pilates
Thursday 3 mi run + strength - Neither, was super busy.
Friday was scheduled rest but I made up for Thursday.
Saturday was cross - I swam for about 30 minutes, don't ask me how far, I have no clue.
Sunday was 4 mi run - done in about 50 minutes.

Week 2's plan is
Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - 3 mi run
Wednesday - pilates, maybe some biking or a short run
Thursday - 3 mi run + NROLFW
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Cross train(not sure yet, I'll explain below)
Sun - 4 mi run

We leave Thurs to go to Colorado. Breckenridge actually. We've had this trip planned since June and we're super excited. We're going to spend a long weekend snowboarding with some friends. So Friday is a rest day, easy peasy. Saturday for cross, well I just might count snowboarding, if you've never been, it's a heck of a workout, let me tell ya. And since I doubt our condo has an indoor pool or gym at all for that matter, I'll take what I can get. Sunday, I'm taking my running stuff but with the altitude I'm going to take it nice and easy and if I don't get all 4 miles, I won't be too hard on myself(or try not to). We come back Monday and I should be able to make it to yoga again. See, half training doesn't have to take over your life. :D

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Play by play for cold weather running

So I frequent a message board about health and fitness and there is constantly a question about "what do I wear for a cold weather run?" But lately, I've also been getting the question from family and friends. So although I can tell you over and over again, here's a play by play in pictures(for you visual people) so you can get an idea. The temp today was around 20* but it was pretty windy so maybe about 10* with the windchill. This was what I wore for 4 miles today. The only thing I'd change is maybe putting some sweats over my tights, I was a bit chilly toward the end.

First, socks. I love my smartwool socks for cold weather. My toes stay toasty without getting too hot and they're amazingly comfortable.

Tights. I wear Lululemon Alpine tights. Today was the first time I got somewhat cold and was thinking I should have worn sweats over. Since I'm going to start longer distances, I may add sweats over. My shoes are Nike's but don't go buy them just because I wear them. I highly recommend getting fitted for running shoes.

Now, on top. My base layer is from Target's C9 Champion line. The key for your base layer is moisture wicking and tight(er) fitting. Please excuse my face in this picture.

Then on top of that, I have an REI moisture wicking medium weight shirt with thumbholes.

On top, I have another C9 jacket, moisture wicking with thumb holes. I put this on top since it zips all the way so it's easier to remove if I get too hot.

The hat is nothing special. Just a fleece hat I picked up at Target(or something). Eventually I will get a moisture wicking one. I also added some cheap gloves which came off around mile 2. Then because my husband is worried about my safety(although it was broad daylight) I put on a reflective vest, purchased at REI. My Garmin came with an extension for the wrist band so I could put it on over top all my layers. Add Ipod and my house key in the little pocket of my tights and I was off!

Now a couple other tips. I always put a mug of water in the microwave so I can make hot cocoa as soon as I walk in. I turn on the microwave, go back to the bedroom and strip all wet clothes(believe it or not you will still sweat) and put on dry warm sweats that I had already laid out on the bed.

Dry sweats, cocoa, and cuddling up under a blanket. Once I warm up a bit I make something to eat(tonight I made spaghetti) then head to the shower. When you jump in the shower after being out in the cold, you get the pins and needles feeling and it's rather unpleasant. So, there it is! Suggestions of what to wear and how to dress for cold weather running! Now get out there!