Thursday, February 21, 2013


I had a wonderful trip to Lexington this weekend. After waking up at 2 in the morning, running across the airport wheeling a suitcase, missing my flight, and staying up 26 hours straight, it was all worth it. It was a weekend filled with the 3 most important f's, friends, family, and food! I got to see people who mean a lot to me and eat at places that I have been missing while in Virginia. It was kind of weird, being a visitor to Lexington and feeling like I am living a whole new, different life in Virginia. It was nice coming back to my new "home," though. But, that meant it was time to get back on my workout grind.

Putting my fitness goal here on my blog was the best thing I could have done. Honestly, it has kept me motivated. I'm not sure if it is because I want to share my success on here so it feels more real or what, but it worked.

I am about 3 weeks into my training. Like I said, I started out at about a 37 minute 3 mile. I have been running 4 days a week, pushing myself until I can't go any more. I am making some serious progress. My 3 miles is down to, wait for it, 27 MINUTES! Yes, that is right. I have brought it down 10 minutes in 2 and a half weeks. Also, when I started I could run about 3 minutes before having to stop. I am not kidding, so don't laugh at me. I have asthma, but I decided to not use that as an excuse anymore. I can now run 20 minutes without stopping. I cannot even believe it's real. Those who know me know how big of deal this is. So I'm telling you, anyone can do it. Just go out there and start slow. Yes, there are still days I don't want to get up and go workout, but once I do, I never regret it.

I tried to do the couch to 5k, which did not work for me. I kept wanting to run longer than the suggested intervals, and once I get going, I need to keep going. So I started setting my timer for 35 minutes, walking for 5 minutes as a warm up, and then running until I couldn't run anymore(this is where the pushing yourself comes in), taking a short break, then running until I couldn't anymore, taking a short(30-1 minute) break, and so forth until I reached 3 miles. I found that I was pushing myself further and further, competing with myself to make it a few more minutes each time. I have been doing this routine 3 times a week, supplemented by stretching and a 20 minute arm, leg, or ab workout. On the 4th day I have been doing a total body workout. Here is one that I have been doing. It is a total of 10 minutes, but it is killer and you don't need any equipment. Everyone has 10 extra minutes in their day!

10 minute total body workout

I also thought I would share some motivation

Here are some tips for overall fitness for any reality tv loving, junk food eating, couch potatoes like me:
1. Set a goal for yourself not associated with what the scales says
2. Make a rough plan of what you are going to do to reach your goal
3. Share your goal with someone. Make it public or find someone to workout with.
4. Get out there! Especially on the days you really don't feel like it. Those are the days that matter the most.
5. Drink lots of water! 
6. Find healthy food you enjoy eating, so it doesn't feel like a chore.
7. Don't keep any food that will tempt you to binge eat in your house (potato chips are a killer)

Until next time,


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Gallery Wall

I decided that I really like gallery walls. It is a great way to fill up a large wall and to display tons of great photos. So I headed out to Ikea and loaded up on frames. If you are looking for cheap frames, Ikea is the place for you. I got 8 frames of all sizes for around $60. I looked through all of my pictures and found my favorite ones. I loaded them onto and had them printed in the sizes I needed. Disclaimer for Ikea frames... they are from Sweden so they are not American picture sizes. I then looked for inspiration via pinterest.

Then, I got an awesome black and gold B from Hobby Lobby for $9.99. This might be my favorite part of the entire wall!

This is where I got stuck, for a long time. I laid out all of my frames about 10 times, trying to decided how I wanted them. I also contemplated not even hanging them up since we won't be in the apartment for very long. 

That's when I was inspired to make this. And I am proud to say, I was not "pinterest" inspired for this one. It was all from my own brain, and from luck. 

I thought the quote was fitting for our lifestyle. At some point, I might put up a tutorial. It turned out so well and was actually very easy.

This is where I decided that it was time to just do it, hang up the gallery wall.

So I read lots of different tutorials, and came up with my own method. Honestly, it is sooo much easier than people make it out to be. It took about an hour and only a little help from my cute husband.

First, lay out all of your frames on the ground, exactly how you want them. Play around a little bit to find the best layout. Take a picture, just in case it gets messed up.

Measure the distance apart each frame is from one another. It doesn't have to be exact.

Grab the largest frame and put it on the wall where you think it looks best. You can measure, but I honestly just eyeballed it. I had Jake hold the frame while I leveled(thanks Iphone app!) and then put a piece of tape along the top, keeping it leveled. I then took the frame down and measure out each side of the frame with a piece of tape and put them on the wall. I then picked  another frame and measured how far the top and side were from the first frame and made marks. I held the second frame up the the marks, leveled, and taped it off. I repeated this for all of the frames.

Weird picture, but you get the idea. Entire gallery wall taped on the wall.

Measure where the nail holder is on each of the frames and then mark it on the wall. Put in a nail and hang them up.

That's all there is too it! 

The most important tip: It doesn't have to be perfect! This was hard for me to come to terms with, but once I did, I was so much happier.

I am so happy with the way it turned out. It's not perfect by any means but it really makes the place feel like home. I have decided that no matter where we go and no matter the amount of effort, I will hang up pictures. Pictures really make a home more cozy and spices things up. 

Until next time,

J and M

Here Goes Nothing

I have never been a gym goer. I played sports all growing up, but going to the gym has never been my thing. It could be that I have asthma and so working out hasn't always been easy for me. It could be because I am usually a very busy person. It could be because every time I start, I never try long enough to make it a habit. It could be because I always had an excuse. It's too cold, the gym is far away, I would rather sleep, I can't run. It could be because I have never really had the motivation. Don't get me wrong, I do not have the perfect body. There are lots of times, like most girls, I have looked in the mirror and not been happy. But, at the same time, I have never really been unsatisfied enough to make the effort.

Until now. No, I have not gotten fat. I am actually at the lowest weight I have been in a long time. And I have been fooled. Fooled into thinking that I am healthy because what the scale tells me. I always judge my health by my weight, which I assume is common among the American population.  I did not realize that my weight is going down because I have no muscle. All of the muscle I built during sports has slowly been dripping off my body since I stopped playing volleyball. 

So it's time for a change. Yes, I work around 50 hours a week, but now that I don't have homework or many other responsibilities, I feel like I have a lot of extra time. I have no excuse not to get to the gym. So its time to get off the couch and stop watching hours of reality tv. It's time to stop sleeping 10 hours every night. It's time to stop making excuses. It's time to lace up my tennis shoes, throw on some shorts, and get it in gear. 

So here is the plan. Train for a 5K with my sister and her husband. Don't focus on losing weight, focus on overall fitness. Learn to love to run. My plan is about two weeks in as of right now. Running is slowly starting to become easier for me. I have even been looking forward to it and enjoying it. I am especially enjoying my after workout smoothies (mixed berries, spinach, banana, almond milk, protein powder. Try it, you won't be disappointed). Let's hope I can actually keep it up. 

Starting 3 mile
37 minutes (yeah, yeah, pretty pathetic)

Current 3 mile
35 minutes (down 2 minutes WOO HOO!)

Goal 3 mile 
25 minutes

Here goes nothing!

Until next time,


first impressions

Hi friends! We, well I, have been living in Virginia a little over a month. Everyone has been asking how it's going, so I thought I would give a general update.

So far, these are our, mostly my, thoughts and feelings on the matter:

-The city of Stafford does not even compare to our beloved city of Lexington. It is missing that homey feel, where everyone is nice and there are tons of locals who have lived there for years. There are no cute little restaurants or boutiques, just a few boring chain restaurants.

-There are tons of Marine families and government workers, which is nice. But, the nonmilitary people don't seem to like the military people.

-Speaking of military life, I am enjoying being a part of the Marine Corp. I am getting to know lots of the wives. It is nice to have friends in a brand new place. Everyone comes from different places and backgrounds, but in the end, we are all going through the same thing. It is nice to have someone who understands how you are feeling. It is also nice to have married friends, even though I miss all of my friends back in Lex.

-There is lots to do and see in the area. We are surrounded by lots of neat cities, Fredericksburg, Alexandria, Arlington, and of course D.C. We would also like to make it up to NYC or Boston before we leave the area.

-I love my job. LOVE IT. The family I work for is incredible. They are so nice to me and make me feel so welcomed. We have a very open relationship with good communication. The baby is such a good baby. Yes, there are frustrating times, but who doesn't enjoy snuggling with a baby all day. I am on serious stay at home mom status, watching Live!with Kelly and Michael and the Rachael show. I'm kind of obssessed. I also watch way too much HGTV and Food Network, but I'm not complaining. I keep reminding myself how lucky I am that I found this job.

-We are also in love with our apartment. It feels so big compared to our last apartment. It is also very new and clean. I feel like I'm living in luxury, which actually sounds kind of pathetic. We love coming home after long days at work and relaxing in our cute apartment. We also are very happy to be back together after 2 months. Jake really appreciates my dinners when he gets home every night.

-Jake is working very hard. He works very long days, like I'm talking 13 hour days or longer every day. How many people can say that? He also studies a lot. I am so proud of him for working hard and never complaining. He really is a very positive person and it always rubs off on me : )

Overall, we are very happy here in Virginia. We are taking things day by day and trying to enjoy each moment as much as possible. Soon we will be learning where we are headed next and then graduation will be here before you know it. We are so excited to see where the Marine Corp takes us!

Until next time,

J and M