An Olive Update

Happy Friday, y’all!

It’s been one of those weeks. Hulk and I took a mini-trip this weekend to celebrate our anniversary, and I think we both came back with acute heat exhaustion because we were both pummeled by fevers Tuesday night. That’s what happens when you say, “you know what would be fun? A 2-hour hike in 95 degree weather followed by napping in said 96-degree weather by a pool!” So our household has somewhat resembled the imaginary sequel “Lord of the Flies: Baby Strikes Back.” I’m still feeling like my immune system is playing catch up just in time to get on a plane to visit family this weekend. Stock in Airborne has been acquired and I’m popping it like candy at this point.

Time for an Olive update!

  
We adopted Olive from the shelter shortly before our move, so that added to the typical moving craziness. So much that I keep forgetting to mention her! To maintain our sanity, Olive has been mostly an outside dog since we moved to the house. 

  
This arrangement has worked nicely for everyone, as she is allowed to destroy the backyard as much as her little puppy heart wants (no one was really using all of that installed irrigation piping, anyway) and we keep our new rugs relatively dog mess-free. She sleeps inside in her kennel at night, and is just starting to figure out when I say “kennel!” and show her a treat that I want her to go in her kennel and lay down. Hulk and I trade off taking her for short walks around the block, and we are making slow progress. She is either overly exuberant in her false sense of freedom and wants to bolt, or inexplicably terrified of the big, scary world and won’t leave the driveway. It’s a process. But the best part by far is how Olive and Squish interact. Squish absolutely loves our “cute, black, fluffy dog” and Olive thinks Squish is another puppy. They’ll alternate between chasing each other around to rolling on the floor together.  Ohh, all the feels. 

In hindsight, it may have been a little overly optimistic of us to think we can handle a puppy and a baby and a preschooler (duh). We could probably be doing a better job training and socializing her, but so far I think she’s doing fine. Apart from the normal puppy stuff, she is a super sweet and gentle dog.

We also have had a couple puppy play dates with my brother’s dog. Pretty sure anyone could hear Squish’s little brain explode with TWO dogs to play with and boss around!

 (Olive’s fur-cousin)
We’re going to wait until she’s a bit older and then take her to obedience classes. We found a fantastic dog trainer for our old dog, so I’m hoping they’re still taking new dogs!

But I am really enjoying getting puppy kisses and someone to eat dropped food on the floors again.

  
Have a great weekend!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

On the Brain Lately #2

Hello, and happy Friday! I have a whole smoosh of randomness to share today.

First, I posted a rant yesterday about weight loss that I’m half proud of, and half feeling a major vulnerability hangover about. If you’re curious, take a gander.

Meanwhile on the home front, Squish just started kung fu lessons. It is all kinds of adorable, I can’t even.

IMG_5796

It’s inspiring me to dust off the old black belt and find some martial arts classes of my own.

Buttercup continues to be a bit of a fashionista. She’s outgrown most of her clothes so I had to go and load up on 12-Month sizes at Carter’s the other day. Little girls are sooooo much more fun to dress up than little boys. It’s just fact.

IMG_8639

Stop growing up.

Does anyone still use watches for running? I found my old Garmin 405 and charged it up, but since I’ve been using mostly phone apps for my couch-to-5k, I’m not sure if it’s worth the bother. But then how else do I take those classy Garmin selfless post-run to prove it happened?

IMG_8637

We scored an entire tray of leftover fresh veggies from a friend that worked a charity event this week. There goes my “darn, no veggies to eat” excuses. I have made it a personal goal to make sure they all get eaten and don’t go bad just sitting in the fridge. Wish me luck.

IMG_8636

What have you got on the brain lately?

Go make it a great (Fri)day!

Other “On the Brain Lately” Posts:

On the Brain Lately #1

Posted in On The Brain | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Pants: a Rant

Last weekend I had to go out and buy new clothes. I had finally thrown in the towel on wearing my pre-baby size 8 slacks and had come to terms with the possibility that I am perhaps no longer a size 8. This is bringing up a myriad of thoughts and feelings for me. The obvious one is maybe I should eat a little less and exercise more. 

But for some reason, that thought makes me angry. Unexpectedly angry. I don’t want to change. I like eating what I eat and moving the amount that I move. I could do better, but I’m so happy with where I’m at right now. And the reason why I would want to disrupt my happy routine and introduce the bitch slap of negative images that diet and exercise bring me is so I don’t have to buy bigger pants, and maybe people won’t make fun of me after they exclaim, “SHE writes a healthy lifestyle blog?!?”

Okay, so I put my little inner rebellion aside. I consider making all of those “small lifestyle changes” the weight loss gurus encourage all of us fat slobs to adopt so we won’t wake up on the couch covered in cheese curl dust with Mountain Dew aftertaste in our mouths as often. I could park further away and take the stairs more. I could prepare more meals at home and go out to eat less. I could replace soda with water. I could eat more veggies and less sugary junk food. But I already park in the farthest row of parking stalls at work and take the stairs every other trip. I eat most of my meals from home already. I don’t drink much if any soda, and I could ALWAYS eat more veggies, but the few treats I have in the afternoons make me happy and less likely to stab people. Basically, there is not much I really want to change to my lifestyle that doesn’t mean cutting out something that already makes me feel happy and balanced.

The part of it that gets me the most is who I am doing this for. I look in the mirror, and I’m happy. Sure, I’m bigger than I was. But I’ve done a lot of incredible things that have had nothing to do with how I look and what size I am. Its not a priority for me right now. But I feel shamed by the media, “fitspo”, and other blogs out there that this is something I SHOULD want and SHOULD do. And that is what makes me feel stabby. I’m not feeling the pressure to change because of me, but to do it for other anonymous people who lets face it, are not really directly involved in my life.

There are different kinds of healthy. Like my tag line says, “be your own healthy.” Right now I’m choosing health of the mind and soul over body, and it feels great. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like healthy living blogs can be more than kale salads and race recaps. We can be about whole health, inside and out. And just because I’m not a size 4 (or size 8 for that matter) doesn’t mean I can’t have a voice in the community. I have tried tons of diets, lifestyles, and exercise programs. You want to know the one that works? The one you’re on right now, especially if you can honestly say you’re happy.

Trust yourself. You don’t have to follow a model or fit into a mold to be happy. Just do you, because that is what is going to change the world.

As always, make it a great day!

Posted in Random | Tagged , | 3 Comments

What I’m Reading Lately

Hello, blog world!

Today I thought I would start up my weekly book review series again. A while back I was in the habit of sharing a book I’m into lately. Then I stopped reading so it was kind of hard to keep posting reviews. But this year I decided to start reading consistently again. I make time to read every day, but a few times a week I manage to carve out a few minutes at bedtime to snuggle down with a good book. Usually “book” means my Kindle reader, but I’ve been trying to go back to the paper book thing lately. While I like the convenience and instant gratification of the Kindle, there’s something about a paper book that has that sort of tactile satisfaction to it, you know?

Anyway, here’s the latest from my library (note, links are non-affiliate Amazon links, just in case you were curious and wanted to check something out):

Self Improvement stuff:

Better than Before” by Gretchen Rubin

better than before

My unauthoritative rating: 3.5 out of 5

In “Better than Before,” Rubin sets out to figure out how people make or break habits. Why is it so hard to start a habit you really want to do, or break one that is detrimental to you? Why is it sometimes so easy to wake up one day and say, “I’m going to do this now” and actually DO it, whereas other habits take forever to take hold and eventually drop off? While this book was a good, fun read, it wasn’t one that I would call well-researched. The book was mostly Rubin’s self musings about how she sees the world based on her “research,” which from what I could tell, was mostly gathered from talking to friends and crowdsourcing from her blog. It’s interesting, but not really scientific. However I did get a lot from it by reflecting on my own tendencies and habits, which was helpful. I would recommend it if you’re curious about how others think and take to habits, but if you are more of the “show me the data” science-y type you might want to pass.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo

tidying up

My unauthoritative rating: 3.5 out of 5

This book is exactly what you think it is. And then again it’s not. I mean, it’s definitely a book about how to clean and organize your home. But in a distinct Japanese style and form, Kondo goes beyond “here is how you should organize your sock drawer” to encouraging you to treat your possessions with respect, almost in an anthropomorphized way. While I sort of have a difficult time saying to my purse “thank you for working hard and serving me today” when I put it away in the closet, I do agree and adore the attitude that you honor your things by taking care of them, and that your things should bring you joy so you should not keep things that do not bring joy into your life. This book will help that spark of a cleaning revolution within and make you super motivated to have a clutter-free and peaceful home.

Health stuff:

Fit2Fat2Fit: The Unexpected Lessons from Gaining and Losing 75 lbs on Purpose” by Drew Manning

fit 2 fat

My unauthoritative rating: 4 out of 5

Drew Manning was sort of a big deal when this book came out a few years ago. He was the super fit personal trainer that wanted to take an honest look at what his overweight clients go through via a drastic method – to purposely gain a significant amount of weight then lose it all. This book was a bit more musings than storytelling in my opinion, but I loved Manning’s vulnerability and honest observations in his journey. If you’re a sucker for a good “transformation” story, this one is great since it goes through not only the physical transformation of Manning getting his body “back,” but the emotional transformation of viewing life from the other side and never being able to think the same way again. Plus, he just seems like a likable guy. I follow him on Instagram, too. His handle is @fit2fat2fit, and he posts some pretty inspiring/introspective stuff.

The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom” by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig

whole30

My unauthoritative rating: 5 out of 5

So, you guys probably know by now that I’ve totally drank the Whole30 (real-food, no added sugars) kool-aid and have an unrequited girl crush on Melissa Hartwig. So it’s a no brainer that I’m all about this book. However, in the interest of at least attempting to appear slightly unbiased, I’ll pretend that I just picked this book up and am totally not sold on the Whole30 thing. Which is impossible so why don’t I just talk about what I like about it.

Having done a couple Whole30s, this book is a great resource even if you’ve done it before. It goes through the program rules, timeline of what you can expect, lots and lots of Q and A, and even suggestions for common pitfalls and special circumstances (how to navigate a party or social event, doing a Whole30 vegetarian-style, etc.). My absolute favorite part is the kitchen basics section. Most intro level cookbooks feature a “here’s what you need for a decent kitchen” section, but they go beyond what brand of cutting board to use in how to make simple, basic food. Like fried eggs. And grilled chicken. And homemade mayo. Okay, except for the mayo I thought I knew how to do all this. But do you? DO you? All I have to say is my confidence in the kitchen (when I choose to be in the kitchen) has totally improved since I brushed up on these basic cooking skills and I thought I was a pretty good cook before. Oh, and there are also recipes and suggested meal plans. Tons of them. Even though I don’t always eat Whole30 (hey, it’s not a Whole365), I am a superfan and totally would push this harder on people if it wasn’t so annoying to have someone push unwelcome diet recommendations.

Indulgent Young Adult Fiction stuff, sorely needed before my brain exploded with all of that other “serious” stuff:

Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard

red queen

My unauthoritative rating: 3 out of 5

I stumbled across this book in a search for another dystopian young romance novel that is the hallmark of Young Adult fiction these days. In this story, a girl lives in a world where humans are separated into classes based on their blood: “red” bloods are normal humans, and “silver” bloods have magical powers. And their blood is actually silver-colored. I think like liquid mercury. Anyway, the protagonist red-blooded Mare is forced into the elite Silver society through an unfortunate chain of events and must play the part of a lost Silver princess. Rebellion, espionage, battles, romance, and political power plays all in one story. While I found the dialogue to be rather dry and unimaginative, the story itself is quite gripping. I am eager for the sequel to come out next year (darn it! Such a long time …).

The Selection” by Kiera Cass

selection

My unauthoritative rating (so far): 4 out of 5

I just started this one, and I’m already hooked. If “The Hunger Games” took place on the set of “The Bachelor”, then this story would probably happen. I’ll probably plow through this book next weekend.

That’s what’s been in my library for the past few months. Maybe you’ll be inspired for your next good book!

Go make it a great day (of reading)!

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the Brain Lately #1

Greetings, blog-land. Today felt like a good day to ramble about some stuff I’ve been enjoying lately. Sort of a “favorites” round-up without the link-up because I’m lazy and sort of anti-social, even in the blogosphere. But I do want to share some cool stuff with you.

This bowl. I just ordered a set of Calibowls on Amazon, and I’m loving it. True story, for the past 4 years or so we’ve been surviving with just 3 cereal bowls in our sparse little cupboard. First world problems, I know. But I had one too many moments of having to reach for a bowl with a hot or dripping something or other in my hands, and that was just unacceptable, especially if (when) I was in a less-than-rational mood. So now I can pile on the berries without spillage!

IMG_8590 Just missing some homemade whipped cream.

Next up, The Skimm: (<- kind of an affiliate link, I get a pat on the back if you use it to sign up). If you know me, you know I don’t follow the news. I just hate how it’s all just sensationalist stories and biased journalism. I do want to know what’s going on in the world good and bad, but to skim through your typical Google News and it just freaks me out and depresses me. Enter The Skimm. Just a quick and light-hearted dose of all the big stuff going on, with lots of adds guides and background info to get you caught up on, I don’t know, the Iran nuclear talks and stuff. It’s great, and the first thing I read in the morning. Yes, even before I check Instagram.

skimm

And then there’s this article about female strength training. I think I found it from a Facebook link. The author, a guy, talks about how disappointing most of the women’s fitness media is when prescribing how women should train to look good. His stance is if you want to look like a badass, train like one. Don’t eat “rabbit food” while doing teeny muscle isolations with 3 lb dumbbells (not that there’s anything wrong with that if you do; just don’t expect physique miracles), but do whole body strength work. When you focus on strength, the rest will come. I found it very refreshing that a guy acknowledges how disappointing women’s fitness magazines and articles can be. The best line from the article:

“The nefarious old way of doing things is still the norm. And if Susan B. Anthony were alive and lifting—which I’m pretty sure she would be—she’d vomit a little in her mouth. I’m a dude and it pisses me off. I can’t imagine how angry and frustrated it makes women.”

Too much awesome there. Oh, and I totally perform and love the four strength goals he suggests. Keep it simple, kids.

Finally, PaleOMG is hosting a paleo retreat in Costa Rica. I think Juli Bower must have picked up on my “I need a tropical vacation” signals I’ve been sending to the universe. I am totally going, once I get financial approval from the Family CFO (aka Hulk). But since we bought a house and stuff, I probably have like a 9% chance of scraping the beans together to make it happen. In the meantime, I’ll just keep looking at this picture:

costa rica beach(from Pinterest)

Anyone want to come with me? Seriously, let’s do it.

Time to make the Friday magic happen. Go make it a great day, kids!

Posted in On The Brain | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Best Kind of Adventure

Greetings, blog world!

I’m still not sure what to write about, but I really want to keep posting and not let this blog drift away. Things keep happening that are milestones I want to document for the sake of record-keeping, like how Buttercup is crawling all over the place and how she stood up by herself in her crib last night. Stop growing. Just stop.

IMG_8567

She’s a lumberjack, and she’s okay.

Meanwhile Squish just spent a week up in Tahoe over the 4th with some family friends. He basically partied with the other kids until he dropped, lather, rinse, repeat.

IMG_8569

And I’m over here realizing that just because I’m not cooking health-blog-worthy meals right now (I use the term “cooking” very loosely here) or working on killing my half marathon PR doesn’t mean I can’t blog. I use this space to document my health journey, and that journey can sometimes make detours too, and that’s okay. Last post I lamented about trying to find time to squeeze in all the things. I was focusing so much on what I’m not doing that I failed to see all that I am doing – tons and tons of self work. Journaling, meditation, talking to close friends and family, and personal reflection do take up quite a bit of time, and I realized that this is where my time has been lately. The specifics are a little personal to talk about on the blog right now, but I hope you understand that it’s a work in progress and once I figure things out I’ll probably have a nice little “lessons learned” write up someday.

So this place might get a little w00-woo as I sort out the (ugh) feelings and stuff. I’m not a big “feelings” person you may have noticed. But that may change. Anything can change. I’ll keep on rocking my little road over here. If you want to hang in for the ride, you’re more than welcome to. It’s quite the adventure as I have no idea where I’m going or how I’ll get there. Which is really the best kind of adventure.

Go make it a great day!

Posted in Random | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Redo the To-Dos

I sat down to post yesterday. Really and truly I did. I sat down, at a real computer (not just my phone) and attempted to crunch one out. And zero inspiration. None. No new workout challenges, no cute pictures of the kids, nothing that I really wanted to share. This July Posting challenge thing seems to be harder than I thought. Posting after such a long absence is also harder than I thought. I want to get back into it, but I know that the direction I want to go and how this blog has been are just different. Do I take the blog in the new direction? Or just keep jamming and don’t worry about continuity of content?

My life is also taking a new direction. I think when we go through periods of self-growth and introspection it’s hard to be public about it. How do I explain all of these new things that I barely know myself? I like to blab about all things in my little space here. But there are some things I’m thinking about that are just too new for me to put out there just yet. Things about self-worth and finding your own path in life. Maybe describing a new path is appropriate for “Emily Rocks the Road.” So basically, I have been trying for the past three years to really figure out how to fit it all in. This is a common posting topic, I’m sure you’ve seen. How to be a kick-ass employee, mom, wife, friend, and do all that while staying healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually all at the same time. You know, just like thousands of other women. And so far I have yet to find the magic day planner, to-do list, or organizational system that can help me cram 30 hours into a 24 hour day.

Slowly, I’m whittling down that to-do list. I stopped sweeping every week. Okay, I swept the floor yesterday for the first time since moving in; and not all of the floors, just the kitchen. Fine. I stopped blogging, not intentional but more of I stopped making room in my day for it, so it didn’t happen. I stopped eating clean and opted for more convenience foods – eating out for breakfast and lunch, throwing together a quick dinner or just picking up pre-made food from the store on the way home from work. Not friendly on the budget, but easy to convince myself it’s easier. When I felt like I needed to exercise I would go for a walk instead of a run or to the gym, since prep time for a walk is “where are my shoes.” I went to bed early. I started “sleeping in” and leaving the kids to the husband in the morning. I stopped trying to walk/train the dog in the morning and instead just let her out in the backyard to her own devices. I don’t watch TV, I spend minimal time on social media, and I don’t really do any of the other standard time-sucking activities. Honestly, I’m not sure where my time goes after sleep, eat, commute, work, and take care of small humans and if I’m lucky say “hi” to the husband before crashing into bed, ready to do it again tomorrow.

I’m not complaining. I’m constantly taking a look at where I spend my time to figure out how to use it better toward the things I really want in life. I suppose the problem is, what do I really want? I’ve always wanted to do All The Things. I have a list of my “stuff to do” that includes karate, piano lessons, ballroom dancing, and write a novel. No wonder I always feel like I can’t fit it all in! Maybe my Do All The Things list should be play trains with Squish, lift some heavy things, do my PT exercises, and go on a family hike. I mean, it’s great to have goals and ambitions, but when I look at it from a practical point of view, I’m not there right now. I’m a working mom with two point four children, YOUNG children, and that’s not my life right now. And that’s okay. I have a lot of life left yet. I think. Pretty sure. Yeah, let’s go with I do.

Time to go re-do the To Do List.

What’s on your life To-Dos?

Go make it a great day!

020 (2)

And a relaxing beach pic, because feelings.

Posted in Random | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

July Blogging Challenge

It’s hard to put your intentions out there when you’re not confident about them. I’ve decided to attempt to blog every day in July. Since this, July 2, is my first July post you see how well this has worked out so far. But man did July sneak up on me! Wasn’t it just, like, April? Anyway, I keep meaning to post, but whenever I sit down to do it a host of doubts get in the way. What do I talk about in the swarm of ideas in my head? Should I post in the morning or evening? Is this the right time, or should I be doing something else right now? Do I even want to continue blogging?

I get the same overwhelming reaction when I try to do another Whole30. Historically, there’s always been a big one in July and I want to jump on board. So I started yesterday. And ate a pizza today. So, you see how that’s been going for me.

  
Oh and this? Just my snack from Tuesday. I don’t need a Whole30, really. I’ve got the whole sugar thing under control.

But I can do this. I can pick myself up right now and get back on track with a solid dinner. I’m writing this post right now as I ride home on the train. I’ve got a few self-care activities I want to tackle over the weekend, including a pool date with some besties I’ve penciled in.

Time for some kombucha on the patio. Go make it a great day!

  

Posted in Day in the Life | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Suburban Paradise

What is up? It’s just another beautiful day over here in suburban paradise.

  
I have too many updates to keep this post any sort of organized. I guess that’s what happens when you take several unplanned, non-consecutive weeks off from blogging. I guess I grossly underestimated how much time getting a puppy and moving across the bay would take on top of regular life stuff.

The good news is that life is slowly normalizing. I find that I do better with a consistent routine that takes out decision making. For some reason this is way easier to do commuting from the ‘burbs. I guess there’s just fewer distractions? 

  
Okay, now updates. Everyone is doing great. The end.

  
Olive caught a bear the other day. Security is not just a hobby, but one of her passions.

It was Hulk’s birthday this week. We managed to not burn the place down with birthday candles.

  
Squish went nuts over the whole birthday thing, especially with cake development. He “helped” me make the classic chocolate birthday cake (absolutely not paleo-fied, I have to draw the line somewhere), and when I broke out the chocolate powder he gushed, “ooh, I’m going to LOVE it!”

  
Can’t even. His chocolate love is only rivaled by mine.

Other things coming up: our garage gym is in progress. I’m commuting these days with an all-electric car, which is pretty geek-tastic. We are super close to some really nice hiking/biking trails, so I’m getting a ton of long walks in nature done these days. All in all, not bad.

That’s all I have for now. Go make it a great weekend!

Posted in Day in the Life | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Business as Usual

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my meals and workouts. Mostly because I don’t think anyone cares. But my life is pretty boring, so without lots of chatting around pictures of bacon ‘n’ eggs and the obligatory “running shoes standing outside” to emphasize a run, I don’t have much to talk about.

 
“Lies! All lies!”

Anyway, I’d like to get back to tracking my meals and exercise again. Now that Buttercup has been here for a few months,  we’ve moved into our “forever house,” and I’m not traveling for work as much, I feel like I’m at a place now where I can get back to business as usual.

Yesterday I had to meet the carpool early and I knew I wouldn’t have time for breakfast, so I put my breakfast and lunch together the night before. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I planned ahead. I cooked a cube of ground beef with some garlic and onion and portioned it out into two containers for each meal. Then I packed some snap peas to go with breakfast and a green salad for lunch. Plus some carrots and a bag of “trail mix” (coconut flakes and macadamia nuts) for a snack. Boom. 

  
This is my Tower o’ Food.

This morning I worked from home, so instead of commuting I got a great 2.84 mile trail run in. Upgrade.

 
Slightly better than sitting on the San Mateo bridge. 
Meanwhile, the latest in the “I freaking love this house” adventures is the first of the lemons on our lemon tree have ripened!

 
I am now putting lemon juice on EVERYTHING. Can life get better? I submit that it cannot. 

That’s what I’ve got for today. Go make it a great day!

Posted in Day in the Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment