Category Archives: Inspiration & Motivation

Thankful Thursday 11.8.12

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching and Christmas less than 2 months away, now seems like a better time than ever to take a moment to stop, reflect, and thank.

Jessie from Jessie Loves to Run started hosting Thankful Thursday a few weeks ago and unsurprisingly she has had an overwhelmingly positive response!  For more information about Thankful Thursday, click here.

This is my first week participating, but I know that I will continue to take part in future weeks.  Oftentimes I think that we forget to thank, or rather assume that thanks has been given, to all of those who have helped make our lives a little bit better…  I truly believe that it’s the little things in life that mean the most.

The best is yet to comeEver since I wrote that post earlier this week, that saying has resonated with me.  Far too often I get caught up in the little things and have a hard time moving forward unless it’s “perfect” in my mind.  I will be the first to admit that my perfectionist personality can be a hindrance at times, but I will also admit that I am trying to work on it.  Take for example last night’s dinner.  Over the weekend I kept telling Ryan how I want to make more of an effort to cook a hearty, healthy, and satisfying dinner.  At first I was bummed with myself that I opted for boxed soup, but it’s what sounded good at the time.  After I sat down and dug in I was delightfully surprised…  Sometimes the simplest things can be the most satisfying, dinner success!

TJ’s Low Sodium Organic Creamy Tomato Soup topped with a sunny egg + black pepper

Spending time with my BFF.  Last Saturday I met my BFF for a study date.  In between sipping Starbucks and actually working [ahem, the point of our date], we chatted and caught-up since we hardly see each other since she moved downtown.  Anddd I am psyched about our sleepover tomorrow!  We have big plans that include: getting Naked Pizza [get your mind out of the gutter!], watching movies, wearing our most comfortable stretchy pants and slippers, munching on chocolate and popcorn while watching movies, and unwinding from the week.  It should be a stupendously fun night!

throwback to Color Day when we were seniors in high school

Laughing with Ryan.  The past few months have been pretty hectic for both Ryan and I between work, our wedding, and my health-related issues, so I cherish any time we have together.  Regardless of whether we’re out running errands, lazily laying on the couch after work, or playing with Charlie, I love when we spend time together…  Good thing I married him 😉  One of my favorite things about him is that he laughs at his own jokes.  They may not be the funniest joke [most of the time they’re pretty silly], but his chuckle that follows is hilariously cute.

my two favorite guys

Making blends.  What the heck is a blend?  No, I’m not referring to a coffee flavor or a fancy food…  A blend is a blogger + friend = blend!  After coming back from a summer break from blogging, I have truly been blessed to have bumped into so many new-to-me bloggers through link-ups such as Katie’s Marvelous in My Monday or Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday, as well as through Instagram!  Blogging has provided me with a daily dose of motivation, inspiration to try new things, and a chance to share some of my own personal experiences.  I never would have imagined myself feeling so comfortable exchanging information with strangers who now I would consider my blend.

source: check our Tina’s post Why Blog Friends Rule

Zesty Blog Consulting.  I seriously could not thank Cory enough.  I have exchanged messages back and forth with him every day since he started redesigning LAB.  He has made every update that I have requested, has provided me with advice when making tough decisions [such as should the background be green or pink], and even has helped to calm my nerves about the process!  I’m so excited that the new site will be up and running NEXT WEEK [unless y’all got a sneak peek this morning], eek!

XOXO,

Allison

P.S.  This morning I was delightfully surprised and honored that both Jessie and Molly tried my peanut butter pancakes and enjoyed them!  Seeing their pretty stacks of ‘cakes made me feel a bit [pea]NUTTY so I combined my recipes for peanut butter puff pancakes + peanut butter pancakes = PEANUT BUTTER OVERLOAD PANCAKES!!!  Oh my goodness, these were out. of. this. world. AMAZING!

toppings: cinnamon Chobani + coconut bananas + dark chocolate chips + pistachios + dried apricots + honey

Question:  What are you thankful for this week?

Question:  Have you tried Naked Pizza?

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Filed under Blogging, Family, Food, Friends, Holidays, Inspiration & Motivation, Recipes, Wedding

Sweating Pink // Favorite Finds Friday 11.2.12

Yesterday I received the best afternoon pick-me-up, better than a Starbucks cappuccino or a chunk of dark chocolate…

I am so excited and feel so blessed to have the opportunity to join a group of strong, inspiring, and motivated women!  As seen on the Fit Approach website, “Sweat Pink Ambassadors live the Fit Approach mission every day: they sweat hard, play hard, and inspire those around them to achieve their best selves.”

All of my excitement powered me through 1 + 1/2 TNT sessions last night.  Ryan was late because he had to get an MRI that took longer than expected, so I happily stayed behind with him to make-up what he had missed.  By the time we got home I was ravenous and raided the kitchen, snacking while I threw together the epitome of a kitchen sink salad.

veggies + TJ’s chicken & veggie dumplings

I also had an unpictured bowl of chicken noodle soup and rice cakes topped with cottage cheese [hunger > pictures].  I could not be stopped and finished off the night with a sweet cereal yogurt bowl for dessert.

Surprise, surprise, this morning I served up a stack of cereal pancakes.  Today’s cereal of choice: TJ’s Honey Nut O’s!

honey nut pancakes topped with plain Chobani + unsweetened coconut + pistachios + honey

P.S.  While I was busy packing Ryan’s and my lunches for today, Charlie was also busy…  He ate the peanut butter filling and left me the pretzel shell, he’s so kind 😉

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Links Above: My Pinterest Boards // Links Below: Picture Source

Good Food: Cooking Light’s Top-Rated Chili Recipes

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My Style: Staying Neutral on the Weekends

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Sweet Treats: TJ’s Melted Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

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Events: Garden Party Wedding

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Health & Wellness: I Workout for Me

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Words of Wisdom: Sparkle

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Cuties: Kids & Pet Kisses [The Ellen Show]

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For the Home: Hand Crafted Sofa Table

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Places to Go: European Beech Trees in Mariemont, Belgium

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Flowers: Flower Delivery Boat

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Laughing Out Loud: An Alpaca!

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DIY Projects: Travel Snack Kit

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Education & Learning: Funny Food Ads from the 1900’s

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Wedding Attire: Grand Dress, Grand Hall

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Looking Ahead to Baby: Kiss Me Goodnight

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“It often seems, looking back, that the unexpected comes to define us, the paths we didn’t see coming and may have wandered down by mistake. The older we get the more willing we are to follow those, to surprise ourselves.”

~ Anna Quindlen

XOXO,

Allison

Question:  Do you have a favorite chili recipe?

Question:  Have you heard of the term flexitarian?  Do you associate yourself as a flexitarian?

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Filed under Fashion, Favorite Finds Friday, Fitness, Food, Health, Inspiration & Motivation, Recipes, Travel, TV & Movies, Wedding

ABC’s of Me

It’sss theee weekenddd!  This week wasn’t very busy but I’m still happy it’s the weekend!  Sleeping in, grocery shopping [prepping for power outages], no work, my birthday celebration tonight, and making new plans for Sunday because our trip to Kings Dominion has been postponed until the spring [silly Sandy]…

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This survey has been bouncing around the blog world recently [thanks for sharing Alex and Jess] and I thought I’d partake in the fun!

A is for age:  The ripe old age of 23.

B is for breakfast today:  Whole wheat flax and oat ‘cakes topped with coconut Cho + almond slivers + raisins + maple syrup served with a side of cantaloupe and lots of coffee.  Note: they’re not burnt, I just have an obsession with cinnamon [haha]!

C is for currently craving:  Fresh food.  Thinking that we may lose power for a couple of days due to Hurricane Sandy, I want to eat all the food in our fridge [waste not]!

D is for dinner tonight:  Legal Sea Foods!  We postponed the original plans because I was feeling under the weather and exactly one month later we’re celebrating.  I’m psyched for a night with my friends and good food!  What should I order: shrimp, swordfish, or lobstahhh?

throwback picture, 2010?!

E is for favorite type of exercise:  Cardio.  Running [outside > inside], the elliptical, or the spin bike.  Although, if you ask me this question again in 13 weeks I may say strength training 😉

F is for an irrational fear:  Getting into a car accident.  I got into my first fender bender a few months ago  [no one was hurt, just my bumper and my ego] and ever since, I’m scared that someone in front of me is going to slam on their breaks and I won’t stop quick enough.

G is for gross food:  Sardines.  Truthfully, I’ve never tried them but they look slimy, smelly, and make me go ick.  Maybe if they were disguised in a tasty dish and I don’t know they’re there I’d try them…  Maybe.

H is for hometown:  Great Falls, VA.  If you’re ever in the DC area, make an effort to visit Great Falls Park and go for a hike- the trails along the Potomac River are b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!

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I is for something important:  Last week I felt great, this week has been tough.  I NEED to remember to take my medicines.

J is for current favorite jam:  “We’re Never Ever Getting Back Together” by TSwift

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K is for kids:  Absolutely!  I’d like 3 but we’re planning to wait and enjoy married life for a while- our furry son is enough to handle.

L is for current location:  Fairfax County, Virginia.  I love where we live because it’s 15 minutes outside our Nation’s Capital [assuming traffic isn’t a nightmare] and about 15 minutes east of the rolling mountains.

M is for the most recent way you spent money:  At the grocery store.

N is for something you need:  My family [Charlie included] and my friends.  They’ve provided me with so much strength and support, especially over the past few years, and I don’t think I could have got through it all without them.

O is for occupation:  Exhibits assistant.  No, I don’t work for a museum [common question]- I work for an association in the exhibits department and help to coordinate their annual trade shows.

P is for pet peeve:  1) People chewing with their mouth open.  2) People not following through with what they say they are going to do.  I blame pet peeve #1 on my BFF because when we were younger, she always would tell me to chew with my mouth closed.

Q is for a quote:  I loveee quotes and think they’re a great dose of inspiration and motivation.  A few of my favorites…

“Use it up, wear it out, make with do, or do without.”

~A little background [as seen on Wikipedia]: “This homily was brought to the USA by immigrants from Great Britain in the early 1900s or before…  The saying is used frequently by those who lived through the Great Depression and their children.”

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”

~Henry Ford

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.”

~The Serenity Prayer by Rienhold NeiBuhr

R is for random fact about you:  I prefer athletic clothes > casual [jeans + t-shirt] clothes.  Although, I do enjoy dressing up for special occasions and donning a sparkly dress + a pair of pumps!

S is for favorite healthy snack:  Popcorn, a cereal + yogurt bowl, or a power bar [Luna and Cliff Mojo’s specifically].

T is for favorite treat:  Dark chocolate and frozen yogurt 🙂  I love ending the day on a sweet note- no matter how full I am after dinner, I always have room for a sweet treat!

U is for something that makes you unique: It’s not necessary unique, but I think it’s something special…  I was adopted at birth.  I was a newborn so I have no memory of any of it, but I could not be more thankful for being raised in the family I was.   My parents provided me with love and support, put up with my stubborn tendencies, and continue to encourage me to pursue my dreams.

V is for favorite vegetable:  Too many to name.  Seriously, I have always loved fruits and veggies [I was that weird child]…  It’s easier to name my least favorite vegetable: seaweed.  I don’t mind it in sushi, can hardly taste it, but I do not care for eating raw sheets of it.

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W is for today’s workout:  I’m thinking of repeating Wednesday’s 2-minute elliptical ladder

X is for X-rays you’ve had:  Best answer: too many!  Between playing basketball and lacrosse and my klutziness, too many!  I’ve had numerous x-rays [and MRI’s/ CT scans] on my ankles, knees, shoulders, and wrists.

Y is for yesterday’s highlight:  Taking a day off from the gym and going to a local park for a family walk.

Z is for your time zone:  Eastern Standard Time [EST].

XOXO,

Allison

Question:  What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Question:  Do you prefer ice cream, fro-yo, or sorbet?

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Filed under Charlie, Family, Fashion, Fitness, Food, Friends, Health, Inspiration & Motivation, Music