December 29, 2014

Focusing on Progress with Seiko

As the holiday season comes to an end, there is a lot of focus on resolutions and changes for the next year.  I prefer to first reflect and look at all the progress I made in the past year. As always, there is still plenty to work on, but I am proud of my accomplishments in 2014. 

To me, progress means celebrating your accomplishments while always striving for more. 

I  trained hard and PRed in my second full marathon, again almost hitting my goal time exactly despite setbacks.  I also worked hard on growing my blog and staying active in the Baltimore community. In 2014 I focused on networking with others, helping grow the November Project Baltimore tribe, and raising money for the Women's Health and FEED Run10Feed10 Campaign .  

As far as 2015, I want to only create bigger goals to strive for

It was fabulous to receive a watch from Seiko at the end of the year, especially since their message is about progress. 

I was sent the Seiko Core SSC877 which is a solar-powered chronograph watch with features such as split-time measurement, stopwatch function, and a date calendar. I usually take forever to replace a watch battery once it dies so I love that this Seiko model has a 6 month power reserve once fully charged by light.


Besides the innovation of the Seiko watch, I love the way it looks. It is beautiful and is just as much like a piece of jewelry as it is a functional timepiece. It mixes in well with my wrist full of various pieces and can be dressed up or down. 


Having it on my wrist during the holidays has been a great reminder of the progress I have made this past year. Despite a few missed workouts, many Christmas cookies, and a few lazy days, it is nice to remember how far I've come and to ponder what 2015 may hold for me.  

Disclosure; I received a complimentary Seiko watch of my choice through my partnership as a Women's Health Action Hero. I received no other compensation. As always all opinions are my own. 

December 23, 2014

Mint Chocolate Protein Bites and Winter Wellness with GNC PUREDGE

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by GNC PUREDGEAs always all opinions and thoughts are my own!

As a self-proclaimed sweet tooth, the holidays are a fabulous time for all sorts of treats. While I definitely don't shy away from enjoying Christmas cookies (okay,so really I seek them out), I love to make sure I'm getting some good eats in during the day as well to balance out my diet.  That usually means making sure I eat something green each day and get enough protein in during the holidays.

That's why I was really excited to try the GNC PUREDGE products. This line of products is a great source of whole-food-based nutrition that tastes great and makse eating healthy on-the-go easy during the hectic holiday season.  

I was always skeptical of products found in GNC because it seems there are so many things on the market today loaded with artificial flavorings, preservatives,ingredients I can't pronounce, and things as a chemist I know shouldn't be in food! 

I was really surprised by the ingredient lists of GNC's new PUREDGE line. 

The products have: 
-no preservatives
-no GMO1-added ingredients
-no wheat, yeast, fish or egg
-no sugar alcohols
-no artificial additives,colors or sweeteners
-no banned substances AND
-no gluten.   

Pretty much everything people look to stay away from, not that I know what else they could remove!

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December 22, 2014

Christmas Sunrise Cocktail Recipe {made with Zevia}

Disclaimer:This post is sponsored by Zevia. I was given complimentary Zevia vouchers  in exchange for sharing a recipe on my blog.  As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Holy crap. I feel like Christmas completely sprung up on me. Thank goodness for online shopping- it helped me finish buying presents this past week. I totally have spent the last couple of weekends busy with holiday get-togethers, parties, and events. I'm really looking forward to spending time with family, sleeping in, and relaxing for a few days during the holidays.  

#Cheers to spending quality time with the ones you love without having work getting in the way.  

That also includes eating many Christmas cookies and enjoying  some holiday cocktails and big glasses of red wine, of course. 

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One of my favorite parts of the holidays is Christmas morning at my parents' house with my siblings. We have a relaxing morning of opening presents, listening to Christmas music, and eating breakfast as a family with some mimosas.  I might have to switch things up this year with a different bubbly drink. 

I love Zevia soda because it has zero calories, no sugar (sweetened with stevia!), and no artificial sweeteners. I pick mine up at my local Whole Foods or Target. 

One of my favorite flavors is grapefruit citrus (it tastes just like Fresca!) and thought it would be perfect for a brunch cocktail. It's especially fitting because I usually start my morning with a grapefruit half with a maraschino cherry in the middle when I stay at my parents' house over a weekend-they always have them on hand for breakfast.

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That's how my boyfriend, a craft cocktail connoisseur, and I came up with the refreshing Christmas Sunrise cocktail. It is bitter, sweet, festive and bubbly all in one simple drink.  I like drink recipes measured in parts instead of specific volumes because I can just as easily make one drink or a few drinks all at once. 

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Christmas Sunrise

Ingredients:
  • 4 parts Zevia grapefruit citrus soda
  • 2 parts clear tequila
  • 2 parts grapefruit juice
  • 1 part lime juice
  • splash of grenadine (to taste) 
Directions: 

1. Fill a highball glass with ice.  
2. Add the tequila, grapefruit juice, and lime juice. 
3. Fill the rest of the glass with the Zevia soda. 
4. Add a splash of grenadine and enjoy! 

As always, you can make it a mocktail by omitting the tequila.   

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Zevia is spreading the holiday cheer this season! Follow Zevia on Twitter & Instagram and share the little moments that mean the most to you with #CheersTo for a chance to win oodles of prizes through 12/31! You can check out everyone's holiday fun in the gallery and see the daily winners. 


This post was shared at the Tasty Tuesday linkup!

Do you have a favorite family tradition during the holidays? What's your favorite holiday morning beverage?

December 18, 2014

Fit Fab Fuel Swap 2014 Reveal


One of my favorite parts of the holidays is giving and receiving cards and gifts.  Of course I was really excited to participate in the Fit, Fab, & Fuel Holiday Swap hosted by Running with SD Mom and the Naturally Fit Sisters.  I love trying new fuel and receiving new ornaments for my tiny Christmas tree. It also seemed like a great opportunity to make a new blogger friend!

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Click here to see all the linkup of posts!

 I was paired up with Esther from Chocolate Runner Girl to virtually meet each other and then send each other our favorite winter FITness fuel and a FABulous ornament.  

Once I saw Esther's blog name, I knew we'd hit it off- who doesn't love chocolate and running?!

December 16, 2014

5 Last-Minute Holiday Hosting Must Haves

With the holidays comes lots of parties and lots of guests. I find that people are travelling, events are happening, and everyone wants to get together. Sometimes you will find out you are having people over a day before or a minute before! Here's a list of 5 things I keep on hand so I'm always prepared to have a party!

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1. Wine. duh.
Not that I ever seem to run out, but I always keep a bottle of cheaper wine on hand for spur-of-the-moment guests to drink. People usually bring wine and whatever they are drinking over too so there ends up being plenty to go around. 


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2.  A full supply of paper products. 
My apartment only has one bathroom so if guests are over, it's getting some heavy traffic. During the holidays I try to keep it extra clean and stock it with a festive air freshener, extra hand towels, and extra toilet paper. Having a sink full of dishes the next day is the worst part of hosting. I try to have some colored paper plates and napkins on hand for guests to reduce some of the dirty dishes. 

December 12, 2014

5 Gifs that Describe How it Feels to Apply to Graduate School {Friday Five 12/12/2014}

Right now, I'm in the midst of applying to graduate school programs for occupational therapy because like many, I need to go back to school for the career I want. I just want to help people!  Sadly, the graduate program application process is  torturous-especially during the holiday season. It's been consuming all my time and brainpower! And it's ridiculously stressful.  

Here's 5 gifs this Friday that perfectly describe the process of applying to graduate school: 

1. You usually have to take the GRE.

It's a 4 hour admissions test with verbal, quantitative (a.k.a math you learned in high school and don't use like figuring out the degrees of an unknown angle in a triangle), and writing sections. I took it after work one evening (WHY), and I hope I don't have to take it again. It's long, tiring, hard, and stressful. 

 4 hours in a testing room with nothing but the test on a computer made me want to ask: 

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Seriously, I couldn't bring snacks or a drink inside. 


2. Why do I have to take out a loan just to apply to graduate school?



Seriously it costs around $75-100 to apply to each school.  After I already spent money to take the GRE, take pre-requisite classes at a community college, and now I need to pay a bunch more? On top of still paying off my undergraduate student loans? 


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December 9, 2014

LUNA bars are now gluten-free!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by LUNA Bar. I was sent a sampler pack to review for a paid campaign.  As always all opinions and thoughts are my own!

Many thanks to LUNA Bar for sponsoring today's post and creating delicious gluten-free snacks. 


I've always been a fan of LUNA Bars because they are delicious, snack-sized, and found everywhere these days!

Now that gluten-free is a huge trend, you see brands just slapping the gluten-free label on foods, which makes some people think they are healthy. Gluten is just a mixture of two proteins that some people are allergic or sensitive to (source). Now I see junk food that happens to not contain gluten advertising that they are gluten-free as a marketing strategy. I try to limit gluten in my diet because it seems to help with my digestive issues, but even I know eating Cocoa Pebbles for breakfast isn't healthy (even though it's yummy!).

(Source)
LUNA bars have made all of their regular line gluten-free. You can recognize these bars by the pink gluten free label on their new packaging which is just arriving in stores.  Check out all of their flavors here-my favorites are the caramel nut brownie and chocolate peppermint stick bars.  LUNA also sent me one of their newer flavors, chocolate cupcake, and it was tasty!





December 3, 2014

Why I'm Doing the Runner's World Winter 2014 Run Streak {Take 10 Minutes}

I did the Runner's World Run Streak (#RWRunStreakduring the summer and never got around to talking about it afterwards. It was the first time I actually stuck to a daily challenge. Even though there were days I thought for sure it would be over, I managed to sneak in at least a mile every day.  

I'm in the midst of one of the busiest months of the year for me and already have a couple other fun holiday challenges on my plate so on Thanksgiving, the day the annual RW 2014 Winter Run Streak started, I figured I wouldn't be participating in winter run streak. However I've changed my mind.  

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Why force myself to run at least 1 mile a day for 36 days from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day? 

Because I realized the busiest time of the year is exactly when I need to most. 

Getting myself back on a running schedule is a bonus.  I am doing the Run Streak because I need to give myself at least 10 minutes of day where I can sweat it out, force myself to breathe, and clear my head. (I convince myself to get a mile in by telling myself it'll only take ten minutes, by the way. )

 At least 10 minutes of watching Netflix on the treadmill. At least 10 minutes to center myself and focus on nothing else (but running at least a mile of course). At least 10  minutes without email, cell-phone, social media, or work. It's like my meditation time. 

December 2, 2014

A #kindawesome Thanksgiving {YMD Towson Turkey Trot Recap}

This Thanksgiving I ran my first organized Turkey Trot. It seems everybody and their mom (literally) runs these races Thanksgiving morning so it's about time, right?  I was offered to run the annual Y of Central Maryland Towson Turkey Trot Charity 5K by KIND Snacks, who were one of the sponsors of the race.  

I had such a great time running the Fiesta 5K with KIND Snacks in the spring and had wanted to run a Turkey Trot this year so it was a no brainer. 


It was quite a chilly morning in Towson on Thanksgiving Day.  I woke up, ate a banana with peanut butter, had some Nuun Energy Lemon-Lime, and got ready to go. I bundled up with my favorite Under Armour ColdGear tights and longsleeve shirt under my KIND shirt. 

 
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