I finished the week with a strong run and a quick trip to NYC!

Another good week over here! I had some good short runs and strength training earlier in the week and I finished up with 4.5 miles on Friday. I feel like I have been hovering around the 3-4  mile distance for a while because of time and focusing more on strength training so I wanted to go a little further on Friday.

Headed to the gym:


I did some ab work and headed up to watch Rocky IV and run. I ran 4.5 miles at about an average 6.2 mph and the last .35 was a walking cool down. A few months ago, the thought of running more than 3.5 miles didn’t sound likely and I think it’s because I was getting so used to stopping at 3 miles and not pushing myself a little harder. I have been strong and consistent with running so running 4-5 miles is reasonable, but I had a little bit of a mental block. Sometimes you just need to believe you can do it and then actually do it! Maybe your mental block is attempting to run a 1/4 mile, but if you are out and walking consistently or throwing in a few seconds of running, then you can do it. If your mental block is trying to walk more than a mile at a time, know you can build up to it and do it. Take it slow and listen to your body. You will know if you are pushing too hard, but you won’t know how to push yourself at all unless you try.


Earlier in the week, I spent a few hours volunteering at Super D’s school for the annual book fair and I got to meet some friends for drinks and snacks Thursday night. I used to work with them and it’s not often we get together so it was fun to see them. For local readers, Paula’s Public House is a great place for drinks and food!

For someone that doesn’t get out often, I also made it to NYC on Saturday to meet my cousin for the day. Going out 2 days in one week….. I’m pretty wild! She is pregnant with her first baby and I am so excited! It was so good to see her and catch up.

My girl!


I decided to drive into the city instead of taking the train since it was Saturday and I lucked out because the traffic wasn’t bad at all. Look, I grew up learning how to drive in the DC metro area so I can hold my own driving through Times Square in NYC. Honk your horn at me, I have one that works too! Although, the big delivery truck trying to move me out of the way wasn’t picking up what I was putting down so I let him by. Big trucks win. Once I got there, I was starving and ready to eat! It seems to be all about the food! We found a great place a block away from the hotel. We split a veggie wrap and a braised short rib grilled cheese sandwich. So good and picture worthy, but they had that whole cool vibe, dim lighting thing going on so hard to capture it.


We spent the next several hours just hanging out in the hotel talking and catching up. It’s hard when you live so far away from the important people in your life. I am so grateful for the chance to get together and the cold, windy day didn’t bother me because it meant we could just stay in and talk. It’s what we do best!

Now, it’s on to meal planning for the week which I will be sharing tomorrow. It will be a day later than normal, but I figure everyone is busy eating Super Bowl party food anyway! We will be watching the Puppy Bowl. 🙂

Super Bowl or Puppy Bowl?

Have a favorite party dip recipe you want to share?



Get ya some! Pork chops with homemade pan gravy recipe


Oh my goodness, I am excited about two things:

  1. I finally got it together to insert printable recipes in my posts (I told you, I’m kind of new to this thing!)
  2. I created an amazing dish last night…. because I forgot to start my dinner in the slow cooker earlier in the day (I was buried under a mountain of laundry)

I’m not a huge pork chop fan, but Super D and Dan like it so I try to make it occasionally. BUT this recipe from last night was so good!

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Printable recipe: Pork Chops with homemade gravy Like it, share it, print it, Pin it or none of the above as long as you EAT it! 🙂

Progress report: Personal Pull-Up Challenge. Bring it!


Hey everyone! I am starting my own personal pull-up fitness challenge, but I would love it if you joined me!! I have never been able to do a full, unassisted pull-up and I want to change that! If I ever find myself dangling off the side of a cliff, I want to be able to lift my own body weight. Life skills at their best. I think I have been watching too many action movies in the cardio cinema room at the gym…..

Monday was my first day back on the assisted pull-up machine and I was so sore for a couple/few days. I haven’t worked those muscles in a long time! I knew today was the day I was going to get back at it and I wanted to share my progress…..soon to be progress. I have mentioned before that I chose not to share “before” and “after” weight loss photos. Personally, I like before and after pictures depicting how people have lost weight, but I know for so many people, it can bring on feelings of negativity and this blog is all about motivation. I have looked at “before” pictures when I was much heavier and the images were my GOAL. What I will share is before and after pictures of getting stronger. Yes! Straight up muscle and ability. Currently, I am unable to do a pull-up. Currently….

So, here I am at the very start of my personal pull-up challenge (1/22/18):



Pull-ups are a kick in the face


Yes, a kick in the face and I am not even doing actual pull-ups yet! 🙂 On Monday, I started on the assisted pull-up machine and now my arms want to rest for a week! I did 3 sets of lat pull downs with light weights to warm up and then 3 sets of 5 pulls-ups on the assisted machine. It’s going to be a long road to that first unassisted pull-up, but I welcome the challenge.

After my “pull-ups”, I headed to the treadmill for an interval work-out. I’m not sure about all of you, but when I do interval work-outs, I usually do it by minutes rather than distance. Typically, I will alternate walking and running every 2-3 minutes or easy running pace and hard running pace every 2-3 minutes. This time I decided to do my interval run by distance. It was a good run and a way to change it up even just a little bit.

5 minute walking warm-up

1 mile running warm-up at 5.8-6.1 mph

1/4 mile run at 6.6 mph

1/4 mile walk at 3.8 mph, 4% incline

1/4 mile run at 6.8 mph

1/4 mile walk at 3.8 mph, 5% incline

repeated intervals for another mile

1/2 mile running and walking cool down

I wasn’t looking to go fast or long with the work-out so an interval walk/run was just right.

A few day ago I shared my “Philly Wets” steak sandwich recipe I came up with the simple recipe by combining ideas from a few different recipes I found years ago. As I mentioned, I often freeze the left over steak and use it to make burritos or quesadillas. Last night was quesadilla night! I love how easy it is to have the main ingredient already cooked – not only does it save me time, but I am not wasting food! I fill my quesadillas with cheese, shredded steak and roasted poblano peppers.

What’s for dinner? What’s for dinner? Week of 1/21/18

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! Before I get into this week’s meal plan, I wanted to say thank you for all of the great support and response I received from my last post, “Running has helped me battle depression”. I received some personal messages that made it even more clear to me that it an important topic to discuss. Again, thank you!

I ended the week with some great work-outs. On Thursday, I did my nice and easy run of 3.5 miles. I started with a walking warm-up, restarted the treadmill and ran for 3.5 miles in the cardio cinema room. Time, pace and distance below includes my walking cool down.


Running has helped me battle depression

Whoa, super serious title for this post! I plan on doing several posts on how “Running has helped me             “ because running really has been a constant in my life for the past 13 years and a lot has happened in 13 years! A terrible break-up, a fresh start, marriage, surgery, military moves, deployments, the birth of two children, the loss of family members and friends, good times, bad times….you know- life stuff.

I will say that just even typing the title of this post was very difficult. Clearly, it’s a hard topic to share, but for me personally, I have never been open about my depression. My amazing husband and my amazing sister are really the only ones aware of my long history with depression. To all of my friends out there, old and new, I know you will be surprised to hear that I suffer from depression. Most people, especially co-workers and aquantainces describe me as funny, super outgoing and often times even…..bubbly?! I am all of those things and especially in recent years, I am all of those things most of the time.

So before I begin, here is what depression looks like:

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Or sometimes, like this:

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Or this:

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