Category Archives: Uncategorized

Trade – em Up: I want it all.

Welp. When I think I have my shit together I tend to lose my cool like that. Honestly I just could not get together a post yesterday. Nothing in me. Let’s hope this lack of blogging motivation disappears stat.

I would trade… this weather. Weather you’re drunk, go home. But really. Monday’s snow day plus Tuesday’s cold streak did actually happen.

I would NOT trade… this jam. Great running song.

I would NOT trade… the snow day Monday. Nothing beats no alarm and working from home. I did have to venture out for a doctor’s appointment which was a pain. No buses were running so I had to do quite a bit of walking.

I would trade… the taxi fees. I am slowly learning how and when to use taxis around DC. I barely use them – only on late Saturday nights and emergencies. But yesterday they were charging an addition $15 per ride due to the snow. Brutal. No way was my fleeting thought of taking a taxi to the doctors actually something I could do.

I would trade… the treadmill runs that I thought were in the winter past. I didn’t think I would have to do more treadmill runs but both Monday and Tuesday I had to hit up the treadmill. Basically finishing 1.5 books between the two days. Thank goodness I get to run outside today.

I would NOT trade… making plans for this weekend. With Bethany in town I wanted to make sure we did all DC special stuff. We plan to hit up the Newseum and after our race on Saturday morning (both of us just taking as a training run) we will be going to a late brunch with her cousin at Founding Farmers. Two days is not long enough but it will have to do. Darn having to work all Sunday.

I would NOT trade… getting to catch up on sleep. I may or may not have gone to bed Sunday night at 8 pm. Whoops.

I would NOT trade… an awesome Body Pump opportunity this Sunday morning. A few teachers are doing a form class for us who want to be trained, basically doing the normal workout but having them come around the whole time and correct our form. So what I need.

I would trade… the fact that I haven’t seen any of the Oscar movies, meaning I wasn’t too into watching it. I haven’t been to a theater in a while or even watched a movie at that. A lot of those movies though I really do want to see in the near future.

I can’t say I have much to say in these parts. Just putting my head down and grinding through the week.

Question: What would you trade this Wednesday? What wouldn’t you trade? 

Why thank you.

From the weather predictions, which could all be hoax as we know, I shouldn’t have to go into work today. But we never know. I also have no idea if I will have to work my night shift at the running store. Preferably, I could dig a day working from home. Please oh please.

This weekend was a great way to kick off March. I just have this sinking suspicion that March is gonna rock my socks off. I can’t promise that but I do have a really good feeling about it. I may just be watching too much Jimmy Fallon but either way I think I will take this Monday to do some thank you notes.

Thank you… March for having a lot to look forward to. Bethany comes in four freaking days. Um what???

Thank you… birthday shenanigans. Because nothing is better than helping a friend celebrate her birthday with letting every bar know that we go to that it is her birthday. And make sure the night is more than just fun. Staying out till 4 am pretty worth it despite an 8 am long run. I am just going to add that night to my I freaking love DC book.

tumblr_n1oj0lkx931rdutw3o1_400

Thank you… runs for happening and feeling good. Despite the lack of sleep and random dip in temperatures, the training runs happened. Even clocked in my last long long run till Rock n Roll. Boo ya.

Thank you… questions answered book style. So if you read 50 Shades of Grey you totally remember Tristan. Don’t you? I sure did. However, he was just a passing character you had a lot of questions about but never actually got any loose ends tied up. Well I started reading Rock Me and Rock Bottom not realizing it was about Tristan. MY MIND WAS BLOWN. I won’t give anything away but that is all. If you enjoyed 50 Shades, read the books. Just do it.

tumblr_inline_n1pz6cABEU1ro2d43

Thank you… teacher switch ups at Body Pump. I feel like I haven’t done the same track once in the past three weeks. Hello sore muscles like no ones business.

Thank you… for some ounce of motivation that finally got me to do laundry. Sheet/towels and all. Dear god that was needed.

Thank you… unique ethnicity. Never have I been asked more in one night ‘so where is your family from’. Lebanese baby. All the way.

tumblr_inline_n1pz1rkFwG1ro2d43

Thank you… friends for keeping all of Saturday night under wraps. Phew.

tumblr_inline_mzdglo3l0a1rlpk9c

After a trip to the gym to run, I will be hunkering down as the snow falls outside.

Question: Any thank you note to write today? 

Snack Attack: Arctic Zero and NuGo Stronger

I understand everyone has their opinion about this stuff. I really do. But sorry I’m not sorry, I will always be a fan. I still remember when they just came out, pretty sure I was in high school, and I hated how I could never find them anywhere. There was like this one health food store I would have to go to about 30 minutes away just to get my hands on a pint. And I would. Now we are all lucky they are stocked in many stores including Whole Foods.
photo[4]
But back to the real meat of the matter, Arctic Zero. What I like to call glorified ice cream or more so glorified protein shakes. Sweet without the guilt because we all need something like ice cream every once and a while without the sugar crash that usually follows. (Only me? I swear ice cream just makes me hurt… too much dairy and too much sugar for my body sometimes) These came out in 2009 although originally designed as a soft serve. This was around the time where people were looking for those healthy alternatives to sweet treats. Ones that didn’t have that high fat, high calorie caliber attached to them.
Arcitc Zero comes in 150 calorie pints and 85 calorie chocolate covered ice cream bars. These frozen desserts are gluten free, fat free and lactose free. The texture is smooth with subtle flavors that don’t send your head spinning with a sugar high. I have kind of mastered the technique of letting it sit outside the freezer for a bit. I swear it makes it a much creamier texture.
photo[2]
Their chocolate covered bars come in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and orange. I have to say, even the classic vanilla is delicious. You feel like you are eating any normal ice cream bar. The pints come in Vanilla Maple, Chocolate, Coffee, Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookies n Cream, Strawberry, and Chocolate Peanut Butter. I can’t for the life of me choose a favorite flavor. I seriously could eat them all. Vanilla Maple I am pretty partial too though, it has the creamiest texture with this subtle hint of maple you can’t beat. With these pints I practice no self control. Pretty one pint is one serving in my book. My only downside of these pints are the price – normally I see them between 4-5 dollars. Kind of rough for a one sitting type thing but hey, some things we just really like and need.
photo[3]
These are one of those products I have been eating for a long long time and still I fully support them. If you haven’t had them, try them. I’m just saying. You will not be disappointed. Excuse me while I go nurse a pint of my own. Check out their website to learn more. 
__________________________________________________________________
I have been finding bars a saving grace these days. Just with busy schedules and not having the time/energy to pack more extensive snacks and meals, bars just seem like the best go to. Gluten free bars are now in abundance but I still do fall back to some of my favorite. One of those definitly being NuGo.
photo[1]
I adore their NuGO Slim bars and NuGo dark bars. I have yet to get my hands on some of their newest lines including NuGo Free but hopefully they start to carry them near me. But what I wanted to talk about today are their NuGo Stronger bars. Like all their bars, they are non-GMO, no artifical growth hormones and certified gluten free. These bars were formulated with three protein sources – whey, rice and casein. Each protein source have different absorption rates that provide a high quality complete protein for maximum muscle recovery.
Now these bars are certainly in the high protein, big impact type category. They have 25-27 g of quality protein with no soy ingredients, lower sugar (no maltitol) and high fiber (12 g). Compared to other bars in this same category, they are top ranked for grams of fiber per bar, lowest in sugar without the added sugar alcohols, and ranked as one of the loest in total fat and saturated fat.
photo
NuGo Stronger bars come in four flavors – Real Dark Chocolate, Peanut Clusters, Cookies ‘n Cream, and Caramel Pretzel. All I can say is drool. The Caramel Pretezel has this amazing texture with real pieces of pretzels throughout. The Peanut Cluster had actual peanuts under this delicious layer of caramel. It is hard to pick a favorite because each tasted so good, without that overpowering nasty protein taste you can sometimes get from bars (yes we all know that aftertaste…) Plus, they are filling… very filling. No need to have two bars at once or another side snack to accompany it. For me, they are a bit much for one snack so I tended to eat half a bar for a snack and the other half later in the day or the following day.
NuGo will always be a company that has bars in my weekly rotation. Check them out and order your own.

It’s in my voice.

I had a totally other topic planned. But after today I couldn’t get my mind on anything else. Today was ducking amazing. (Yes my phone now autocorrects every f bomb to this so why not? ) There wasn’t a ‘oh my god I won the lottery’ or ‘oh my goodness something amazing just happened’ kind of day. It was just a day that clicked. Don’t you love those?

f3ecebdd89859508f4b4fce6a5f60a8e

Where to even begin. I got a very unique opportunity to be part of 8 females chosen within my company to be part of this newly formed group. It has to stay under wraps so no need to go into details but what it allows us to do is get more personalized executive interaction. All under the framework of finding  the female voice in the workplace. I didn’t think it was a topic I was particularly jazzed about, but being hand picked for this was such an honor.

I went into the first meeting where we were speaking with one of the top female executives in the firm not really knowing what to expect. In the span of that hour, I broke down every wall I had built since starting the job. I spoke up more than I ever had since being there. I have never felt more passionate than I did when I left. And overall, I have never had more to process.

She started from the beginning of her life sharing stories about how she got to where she is today. The discussion quickly grew to all of us sharing those insecurities we had with showing up in the workplace. This has never been something I thought was a big battle for me. I thought I had always let the authentic Alex command a room. But since being at this job, I realized I hadn’t. I couldn’t pinpoint it though. Why did I struggle to see my own gift and that power? Why did I shut down in this setting unlike how I normally had shown up in my past? What I kept seeing was this cowering high school Alex I had once been.

Excuse me as I continue to jump around and make no sense at all…

Today during my final presentation I felt on fire. I dug being up and commanding a room. I loved walking away from that presentation feeling proud and determined to keep that momentum up. I went right from that to this meeting. My mind though was still on that presentation. I was baffled at how great it felt because it was the first time I let others see oh shoot, now that is the business Alex that knows how to work a room. Rather than the behind a desk, head down, do what she is told associate. In this meeting though, I let my guard down and really explained how I felt like the ‘work’ Alex wasn’t a true picture of who I was. I mean I keep telling you all that I rarely mention running and just didn’t know how to display my hard work. Hilarious since I can’t stop talking about it 24/7 here. I am a shell of a person at work sometimes while all I really want to do is be that presenter Alex, with confidence, with poise and with a genuine sense of self.

49690ab24893a11c8cd779355a2ebdc5

Transitioning to a professional setting is tough. Especially in a role with many superiors and with an environment of great talent. What I know about myself, is that my fall back tends to be that shut down mentality. With that, I lose who I am at my core. I struggle to claim that self voice.

A big point that we talked about is how females tend to claim their successes and achievements as due to luck while males own their triumphs. Lean In by Sherlyn Sandberg speaks directly to how females can gain workplace empowerment and will be a focal point of many of these meetings. Sounds feminist right? Wrong. It is all about not pointing the fingers at men but pointing the fingers back at ourselves, what we can do to claim our power by choosing to show up.

I could go on. Obviously. The video below is who spoke to us, who I am so amazed I get to work with. I walked away from our conversation wanting to show those around at work who I really am. To be continued of course…

Read here. 

Loud Mouth: Go Time

I won’t be spending too much on this. Most of the night will be spent talking to myself and getting my outfit planned for tomorrow’s presentation. Tomorrow is go day. eek. My neighbors think I am crazy because they see my pacing my apartment talking to myself. Whoops. I wish I could have done Amanda’s theme but to be honest, I have way too much to say on it. I would rather spend more time on a quality post – I swear it will come soon enough.

Thinking-Out-Loud

… a huge weight will be off my shoulder after today. I can’t wait to go straight to bed after work. No lie. Anxiety just makes my sleep whack so with nothing on my mind I have a feeling it will all just hit.

… I am slightly obsessed with R. K. Lilley. Ok not just slightly, like seriously LOVE this author. Her characters are spot on and her series have sucked me in. I am plowing through books like it is my job. Currently on book 21 since January 1st. Whoa man.

tumblr_llgngt9aPf1qc8l0f

… I am not going to North Caroline in March like originally planned. You know that trip I talked about that me and 10 other coworkers won? Yes, I totally thought I was going. I took off Friday from my real job (hello so many PTO days to use) and took the weekend off the running store. Full intentions of going. Well it really hit me like a ton of bricks at how much I didn’t want to go. I just am not close to the people I went in with. Yes we are nice acquaintances but outside of work they all hang out together, something I was just a tag along accessory to if I was even invited. I just knew it would not be a good weekend if I constantly felt left out of the loop. So instead I am NOT going to sign back up to work but rather take three glorious days off in DC. It will be after two weekends of racing and it will be my first ever days off when I am actually in DC in a row. Hilarious.

… on that note, I still have the gift from my boss for a massage at the Four Seasons. That Friday you better believe it I will be having a free spa day at that beautiful place. My friend also invited me to horse back ride with her on that Sunday afternoon. Holy cow I have never been on a horse before so of course I said hell yes.

tumblr_inline_mv5gliSrap1ro2d43

… for the first time since working at the running store, we have to pass a test. Like really? So next up, studying for that thing. Darn.

… the trailers for Divergent are killing me. Can it be out yet? Ironically that same weekend. Hello best weekend ever.

… Dug running this week. I say the slightly warmer weather or just a need to clear my mind made it that way, but whichever it was, I liked it.

tumblr_inline_mu99dw5YXV1ro2d43

… I realized this is the first time I have wanted to be in DC on the weekends. I totally give credit to my running store friends and A for that. I just have been having a blast and get major FOMO (fear of missing out) when I am not with them. Such a great feeling.

tumblr_mtavxdbwRt1su41kfo1_500

Jesus, that was long. I need to get back to work. Hopefully I won’t be talking to myself too much on my run tomorrow morning as I practice my speech as I run. It ‘s really the only time I can talk out loud without judgement to myself. ha!

Question: What is your Thursday thought? 

Spill It: Bookworm Nerd Style

Well, duh this theme was my jam this week. I just couldn’t pass it up. Even as hard as I tried. And even as late as I am. Plus, lately I have just been really good at ‘spilling it’. Not sure if that is a good thing (you can ask my friends that) but sometimes you just need that spill. Even over books.

Spill-it-Sunday-option-2-1

Favorite Novel of all time: Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech with a close tie of Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

  • Chasing Redbird follows Zinny as she rediscovers a trail, taking the clearing of it on her as a coping mechanism for dealing with the death of her aunt. It is hard to put my finger on what I love about this book but I just do. It captures that forgiveness we all want with that obsession that sometimes clouds reality. At the time I read this, I was doing a project for school and picked this as my book report. It wasn’t until I read it right after the death of my Jidoo that I rediscovered why at such a young age I was so drawn to it.
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie as he enters high school after the suicide of his only friend committed suicide. Charlie himself just draws you in. His thought process is unqiue and full of quirks, but yet his emotions are raw and insecurities relatable. A book I could read over and over.

9780064406963_xlg

Favorite Genre: Not-Your-Average Romance

  • Never. Ever. Would I peg this genre as something I would quickly fall in love with. You know all those books I am eating through? Totally what I would call Not – Your – Average Romance. I am struggling to actually give this type of genre a name. What I mean is that they are romantic, but always obstacles in the way of the lovey dovey romance you think of. These are not all lovey dovey. Sure they have their moments. But most are full of the bad boy trying to get the good girl, or the person dealing with their past in order to fall in love – a super modern twist to romance which is what draws me in. I won’t lie, some are a little racier than others. Hey, kill me ok. We are all human. I did read the 50 shades series this January. Another recent series is Ross Siblings series. I actually went out of order because I had no idea there were as many as they were and still I got sucked in.

50ShadesofGreyCoverArt

Favorite Childhood Novel: Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket

  • I had trouble with this question because I could pick a more recent series that I loved but I thought I would go back to a classic that I lived for when I was younger. These were actually pretty devastating books yet I could not get enough of them. I think it is the one series I bought every single book of.

images

Favorite Series: Divergent Series – Veronica Roth

  • Another unexpected one that came out of this year’s reading spree. It was a combination of the characters and who setting that made me unable to put this series down. But you already knew that…

Which book would you hope future generations will consider a classic? East of Eden- John Steinbeck

  • What started as a forced read for school and soon began one I read probably every year just because. A book that explores the struggle for acceptance with the self destructive path it can build could not speak more directly to a trend in our society. The themes are universal and relatable. A must read.

EastOfEden

Fun huh? Gosh I just love to read. Nerd status.

Question: What is your favorite book to date?

Trade em Up: I go La La La

Those four day weeks that magically turn to five the next week are such a tease. You get used to one thing and then poof, back to the grind. It is a big week though at work so my mind is fully in determined mode.

I would NOT trade… pep talks. Nothing like some via text pep talks. Wish they could be in person but you can’t ask for everything.

giphy

I would NOT trade… my final presentation this week. Big day Thursday. I will be doing my final presentation for my internship and couldn’t be more nervous. There is nothing like presenting to the who leadership team of the that position you really want to get moved to. Eek. Heart in throat.

I would trade… laundry. Because no matter how many times I do it, I still have so much freaking laundry to do. I blame running.

I would NOT trade…the starting of March. March is just plain crazy. Bethany coming one weekend. Rock N Roll the next. North Carolina trip the third week. Dear god I will be busy. Add in extra running store shifts and coffee will officially be my best friend.

tumblr_n0heccRhe51ts18g4o1_500

I would trade.. my strange attraction to this song. No idea why but totally enticing. Probably because sometimes when you hear things all you want to say is ‘La la la’.

I would NOT trade.. my friends birthday celebration this Saturday night. Dinner out and then hitting the city. Oohhhh it will be a great night.

I would trade… the temperature dropping like whoa. This weekend was such a special treat and just like that BAM we have potential snow and 20 degree weather.

toy_rhino_the_most_interesting_thing_in_the_world-117290

This week is a go.

Question: What would you trade this Tuesday? What wouldn’t you trade?