Tag Archives: Christmas

Get into the Groove

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Just six more school days and I am free for two weeks. I won’t be sitting around, though, because we’ll be visiting family for Christmas and getting lots of wedding-related crafts done.


How I wish I could spend my days, haha.

This week has been going really well in terms of eating and exercising. I’ve tracked all my food for 10 days in a row on MyFitnessPal (!) and have been to the gym 8/9 days in the last week and a half. Sunday was a lovely and much needed rest day. I’m still following the Livefit trainer program and am loving it so far. There’s just 2 more workouts before I’m into phase 2, which introduces supersets and will hopefully start building more muscle and strength.

A few days ago I checked out the South Beach Diet book from the library and am thinking about giving it a go after the new year. I (think) I need something to sort of jump start my body into losing weight again. I’ve been stagnant/gaining and haven’t, on my own, seemed to find something to get the scale reading negatives again.

Work has been going pretty well. I’m struggling a lot with some behavior issues in one of my classes, and it’s really starting to get to me. Subbing has been going well, though, and I find that I’m working every day Yay for a steady paycheck!

I think I’ve finally gotten back into a groove with the gym. I haven’t been second guessing my decision to go there after work and it hasn’t been painful for me. There have been a few days that I didn’t really want to stay very long, but I give it at least 30 minutes before heading out the door.

I’m really excited for the new class schedule that starts Jan 2. They’re adding a ton of Les Mills classes, including the much-hyped BodyPump, and I’m so excited. My favorite class at LA Fitness was Turbokick, mostly because it had fun music, was high energy, and kept me going for the whole 60 minutes. I haven’t been able to find a class to replace that yet, and I think Les Mills may be the one.

Alright, I better go hop in the shower and get ready for work this afternoon. It’s pouring outside so I think I may be skipping the blow-dry and flatiron today in favor of twisting it up in a clip. I’m just going to get it all sweaty at the gym in a few hours anyway, right?

Question of the day: Are you traveling anywhere fun or exciting for the holidays? I’m just heading to the Chicago ‘burbs to visit family/take care of some wedding details.


He’s Almost Here!



Tonight I will be celebrating Christmas #2 – with fiancé’s family. It’s going to be a loooong day, but it should be fun. Here’s what I knit for our little nephew:


Tiny little socks and hat. Adorable.

I did knit a few other gifts this season, but they can’t be posted until after Christmas in case the recipients read this. Winking smile


I also got a little surprise in the mail yesterday. Leslie over at And Her Little Dog Too had a giveaway about a week and a half ago for a boatload of coupons that expire soon. And I won a few! I will definitely be using these on my next grocery trip.


And a cute Christmas card was tucked in there as well – thanks again Leslie!



I worked out a bit this morning in the living room – a couple circuits from Banish Fat Boost Metabolism and the 3 core circuits from No More Trouble Zones. Not as great as a run, but better than slipping on the ice!

Then I made breakfast. Awesome.

Oats + banana + couscous (leftover from last night, about 1/4 cup) + 2 peanut butter balls. Yum.


The nifty spoon was made by my brother. It made the oatmeal *extra* special.

Now I’m off to get ready for Christmas Eve – here’s hoping I get it all done in time!

Hit the Lights


So last night’s train ride took a bit longer than expected. Halfway through the trip the lights went out – apparently the train had had an electrical system malfunction. The next stop was about 15 minutes away, so we stopped there to fix the problem. It took them about 45 minutes to get the lights (and heat!) back on.

Sitting on that train that extra time really tuckered me out. on top of being cold I was also really hungry! I brought a small salad, apple, plums, and green peppers w/hummus on the train to snack on, but neglected to bring anything with protein. I usually throw a clif bar in my purse for long trips like that, but was rushing out the door and forgot – big mistake. Thankfully my mom had some chicken waiting in the fridge, so I gobbled down a piece so quickly I didn’t even need a plate.

I ended up chatting with various family members until  almost 2:00 this morning! I had planned on getting up early to work out, but that clearly wasn’t going to happen (still hasn’t, but fingers crossed). I did awake to the smell of coffee brewing, which quickly turned into me drinking freshly brewed coffee.

Mom and I braved the crowds and did some last-minute shopping (her for gifts, me for myself Smile). I got quite the great deal at Jo-Ann’s – I scored this book for just $20


This book will soon be getting a lot of use. Winking smile

We then hit up Trader Joe’s – heaven! I finally got some peanut flour, which I’m so excited to use once I’m back in my apartment. There were a few other purchases in there too, but that was the most coveted, lol.

There was also another trip out to a few more stores, where I didn’t buy anything – because I didn’t need anything! I was so proud of myself.

Currently there’s dinner in the oven and pecan pie cooling on the table. Delish.

Tomorrow will be a long day with an early start – waking up early to work out with Jillian, breakfast, riding with the (future) in-laws to (future) sister-in-laws for Christmas Eve. Fiancé’s family always celebrates and opens present on the 24th. This year will be extra fun because there will be a baby. He’s almost 9 months now, though it seems like he was just born yesterday.

Not too much else to report: things are pretty boring and low-key right now. The calm before the storm, I guess.

How are your holidays shaping up? Are you super busy or relaxing at home?

Christmas Wrapping


The Waitresses–Christmas Wrapping

Anyone else remember the Spice Girls version? Just me? Ok.

I had a pretty early wakeup call, thanks to this little guy.

jaelyn 050

Cheapest alarm clock ever. As long as you like to wake up at 7am.


I had a pretty slow start this morning. Scrambled an egg, toasted an Arnold thin, and fixed a bowl of grapes this morning. Oh, I made a pot of coffee too. That’s a Saturday  morning staple.

You may have noticed (I hope) that Running with Needles looks a little different today than it did last time you stopped by. I have been wanting to give it a facelift for a while now but the mood finally struck this morning. So I spent the better part of the morning (and afternoon) trying on themes, playing around with widgets, and getting really really confused reading about custom CSS. Eventually I’d love to be self-hosted and learn to edit code and stuff. But for now I’m loving the highly (and easily) customizable “twenty ten” theme from WordPress. It’s pretty awesome, dontcha think?

Anywho, now I’ve got all these fancy schmancy tabs up top there, with drop downs that took me probably 2 hours to figure out. Don’t they look nice? I am working on getting the Points values on my recipes switched over to the new Points Plus – but it ain’t gonna happen today.

I think I got most of the kinks out and spiffed it up nice, but if there’s anything you’d like to see (or not see) please, please let me know.

After playing around with WordPress and widgets for too many hours, I finally left the house to go workout. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, and it felt pretty good. I had wanted to do 4, but I paused my Nike+ to catch a breath and it turned off on me.  I saw that as a sign.


run 12 18 10

3 miles in 30:16? I’ll take it!

After that I beat up my legs for 30 minutes. They are already sore. I see foam rolling in my future.

  Sets Reps Weight
Squats 3 15 18lb body bar
Calf Raise* 3 30  
Reverse Calf Raise 3 15 9lb body bar (on toe)
Plié Squat 3 15  
Split Squats 3 15 (each leg) 18lb body bar
Hip Abduction 3 15 80lb
Hip Adduction 3 15 65lb
Seated Leg Curl 3 15 50lb

*Side note: There are 30 reps for calf raises because I point my toes a different direction each time. 1 – toes facing front, parallel, 2 – toes turned out, 3 – toes pointed in. This way you hit each muscle in the calf – both heads of the gastrocnemius and the deeper soleus.

Lunch was a lovely (unpictured) bowl of Panera’s black bean soup that Matt had picked up for me – and I didn’t even ask! What a great fiancé Smile

I had planned on doing some shopping today, but I really wasn’t in the mood for crowds and spending too much money after a long workout. My bank account thanked me.

And I finally started (and nearly finished) my Christmas wrapping. I just need to wash a few knitted items, which I’ll do when I get to my mom’s house (she’s got Woolite and free laundry!) and pick up a few gift bags. But I’m 85% finished. Hooray! I won’t be taking wrapped gifts on the train with me because there’s just no room, so Matt will be loading everything in his car when he drives up Friday.

Tonight’s dinner was brought to you by the word: Leftovers.


Rice/shrimp/veggies from dinner at Fuji last night and stir-fry veggies from a few days ago. They eventually hooked up in the big bowl.

Today I’m playing in the community band for a Christmas concert. I’m hoping it’s going to be lots of fun. And then Matt and I are opening presents! Nothing better than starting Christmas a week early!

This, That and the Other


It’s been a long day. I subbed for a PE teacher and, man, it is exhausting being on my feet supervising kids all day!

Yesterday I had a great run on the treadmill. Minus the fact that my Nike+ GPS wouldn’t let me change the music – every time I tried to change it the app closed. Hmm. I hope I don’t have to reinstall the app.


run 12 13 10

It was pretty much a tempo run – I sped up a bit at the end but stayed at 5.7 the majority of the time. I did take a quick break after miles 1 and 2 to grab a sip of water – I forgot my water bottle at home!

I’m finally getting myself a bit more organized today. I divvyed up the grocery bill for the last few months (I do most of the shopping but Matt & I split the bill). I also stopped at Staples and got new calendar pages for my planner for next year. It felt pretty good putting next years events in there, including the races I’m doing (or hope to do!).

I’m hoping to also buy a cheap, no frills wall calendar to keep track of runs and my training plans – I like to have it posted somewhere visible.

I went to a spin class at the gym tonight – the first one in many, many months. The bikes are actually really nice – they have monitors on them that show your RPM, cals burned, heart rate, distance, time, and (my favorite) what gear your in. That made it really simple to control the resistance. I went to a 4:30 class which works perfectly with my schedule. There weren’t too many people there either, so I think I’ll be going back next week.

Hmmm, what else? Oh! I cooked tofu for the first time tonight. It was pretty good too! I marinated it in a vinaigrette dressing while I showered and then baked in at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. I probably could have pressed a bit more moisture out of it, but it wasn’t too bad. I also cooked up a big bag of stir-fry veggies on the side. I cooked 3 portions of tofu and 2 lbs. of veggies, so I’ve for lunch for the next 2 days packed and ready to go. Score!

Alright, I’m going to go get warm and read for a while before going to sleep. I’m working again tomorrow so I’ll be up early.

Christmas countdown: 11 days (or 10 if you’re reading this Wednesday). Are you excited yet? I know I am!

She’s Alive!

I’m still here. I had a super fun/busy weekend and didn’t much feel like blogging – I spent lots of time with the family instead.

Here’s a rundown of the weekend.

Friday: Got up early, relaxed and perused the sales, went shopping with my mom and got some great deals. She bought me a big part of my gift that I am so so excited about (and I’ll be sharing with you all after Christmas).

Saturday: Got up and had a fantastic bowl of oats. Contemplated going for a run, but it was cold. So I went to the mall instead and got a bit more shopping done. NY&Co was having a fabulous sale, so I treated myself to a few new things as well.

Sunday: Drove home. Driving 5 hours by yourself is no fun, let me tell you. Thankfully traffic was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I came home to a semi-clean apartment and a man ironing! I couldn’t believe it.

We took a trip to Wal-Mart because there were no groceries in the fridge (seriously) and ended up getting some things to decorate our little Christmas tree


They have just about everything you need for a mini tree – topper, ornaments, garland, even little tree skirts! I think it’s perfect. I have an extra strand of lights that I’ll probably put around the living room window or something. But the tree is enough to make it feel like Christmas.

I did also get some stockings to decorate. I really hope to knit some for next year (per Matt’s request) but for 2010 it’s gonna be $1 stockings filled with treats. But I did get some glitter paint!


Why are there three? Sterling gets a stocking, of course! (not like he knows the difference)

Monday was pretty boring. I worked, had a short workout (which I was not in the mood for), and came home to catch up on last weeks Biggest Loser.

I also signed up for my next race, but you’ll have to wait to hear about it – I’m so excited for it!

Well, I need to outfit myself in spandex and lace up my running shoes – have a great Tuesday!