Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wedding in Durango

What a wonderful weekend we had celebrating with our friends who got married in Durango!
This was the view from our cabin! Simply breathtaking. 
On our way to Silverton
We flew into Albuquerque on Friday night and spent the night at my Grandma and Uncle's house.  Saturday morning we drove up to Durango and met up with some friends for lunch before heading to the wedding.  It was such a great ceremony and reception - absolutely beautiful setting.  The next day we drove up to Silverton (and nearly hit a bear with our car!) before heading back down to ABQ.  Nathan had his first taste of authentic New Mexican food (yum!) and we hung out with some friends at the airport while waiting for our delayed flight.  All in all, a wonderful weekend... and definitely a great escape from the humidity!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's fun to stay at the...

Y - M - C - A!

I signed up for a membership at the downtown YMCA at the end of May and I couldn't be happier with my gym membership!  It is a brand new (Fall 2010) facility spread out over five (yes, five!) stories.  I spend most of my time there on floors 2, 3 and 5 which have the women's only workout room, the studios for all the classes, and the one tenth of a mile indoor track, respectively.

So far I have taken:
  • a step class (good, but not the best I've taken)
  • a spin class (holy moly that kicked my butt!)
  • a zumba class (fun, but I'm going to try a different instructor next time... this particular one seemed to gear her class toward beginners and seniors... I needed a bit more to keep my heart rate up)
  • a "stretch and strengthening" class... which ended up being pretty darn yoga-y, which is okay, had I been expecting that.  I really would like to try some yoga classes there, but I will probably avoid this particular teacher.  She kept telling us to "put a nose" on various body parts.  As in "put a nose on your ribs and breathe from it."  I still don't quite understand.
  • and finally, I have now taken 5 body pump classes.  I am hooked!
From the Les Mills website: "BODYPUMP™ is the original barbell class that strengthens your entire body. This 60-minute workout challenges all your major muscle groups by using the best weight-room exercises like squats, presses, lifts and curls. Great music, awesome instructors and your choice of weight inspire you to get the results you came for – and fast! Like all the LES MILLS™ programs, a new BODYPUMP™ class is released every three months with new music and choreography."

I've had three different instructors so far with body pump and I like all of them, but the lady I had this evening (Kandi) was awesome!  She kept reminding us to engage our abs, which is something I totally forget about and need to hear constantly.  Also, her tricep track was the only one that hasn't bothered my elbow so far (possible tendonitis? I hope not!)  I'm going to try to do two body pump classes a week and run 2-3 times a week.

Weekend recap

My sister Jillian flew into HOT HUMID Houston this past weekend for my husband Nathan's 30th birthday party.  We rented out the upstairs lounge of Benjy's in Rice Village and had some delicious sangria, wine and beer, along with some fantastic appetizers (including a mushroom/truffle oil pizza that was to die for).  I wish Jillie could be around more often, as she is one of my favorite people to hang out with.  The two of us get very silly sometimes and we're always making each other laugh.
<3 Sisters
That was all on Saturday night, but backtracking to Friday night was Nathan's actual birthday.  We had dinner at TQLA and then went straight downtown for his birthday surprise - a play at the Alley Theater!  We saw Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" and it was quite enjoyable.  That was the third play Nathan and I have seen at the Alley.  Someday I hope to have season tickets :)

Before Jillian flew back to LA on Sunday Nathan took us to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2... I pretty much cried the entire second half of the movie.  Jill and Nathan made fun of me, but I don't care... the books are so meaningful to me, and I think this was the best movie made of all of them.  I think it may be time for another reread in a few months though.  Last year I read the books out loud to Nathan in the evenings before bed.  I can't wait to do that with our kids someday :)

All in all, a pretty fantastic weekend.  And we've got another fun one coming up... tomorrow evening we fly to Albuquerque and will spend the night at my grandma's house before we drive up to Durango for a friend's wedding on Saturday.

Also, I'm SUPER excited for tomorrow.  My wedding is being blogged on Style Me Pretty!  This was my favorite blog when I was planning my wedding, and I still look at it pretty often for all the gorgeous details.  My wedding will be up on the Little Black Book page of their site at 1:15 EST.  Yay!

beginning photography

I took a digital SLR camera basics class yesterday at Houston Center for Photography. This is my first real try using anything other than "auto" on my new Nikon D3100.  The class was short - only two hours - and it was basically a quick overview of ISO, shutter speed and aperture.  The teacher was quite knowledgeable, but it would have been nice to get some actual shooting practice in.  I learn better when I'm doing and not just listening or reading.  Anyway, I figured I'd practice a little bit with some photos of my lunch today.

Delicious sushi? Don't mind if I do!

Check out my gorgeous wedding china and my brand new chopsticks :)

This was only half of the sushi... I didn't want to crowd the plate too much.
I bought the Dummies book for my camera, and I also bought one called "Better Photo Basics: The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Taking Photos Like the Pros" by Jim Miotke.  I definitely have a lot to learn, but I'm excited about it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The skinny on "skinny"

Well, I didn't make it up in time to hop on the elliptical this morning.  I figured a bit more sleep would be more beneficial to me today since I've got a  13 hour work day.  I'm on sit time in Houston right now before my San Diego turn... just got myself a tall nonfat latte at Starbucks.  I used to always order "skinny" lattes, that is, a nonfat latte with a sugar-free syrup.  Lately I've been trying to ween myself off of artificial sweeteners.  I'm not going cold turkey, but I'm definitely trying to decrease my use.  There are so many studies that tie them to cancer, weight gain and other bad side effects, not to mention the fact that splenda (my artificial sweetener of choice for the past several years) is 600 times sweeter than sugar, so my taste buds aren't able to appreciate natural sugars as much.  This is just one of many small changes I'm trying to make to improve my overall health.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Busy Day!

I've been flying all over the country but I thought I'd post my food and fitness for today!
I had an Orange County layover so I got to go home and spend the night at my parent's house... It is always so nice to go home!  My Dad and I went for a 6 mile run today.  I was supposed to run it at Half Marathon Pace + 20 seconds per mile, but I knew since I was running it with my Dad that it would be a much faster run.  He pushed me to run the very hilly 6.02 (according to Garmin) mile run in 1:08:51 which translates to a 11:26 minute mile (or nearly 1 minute per mile faster than I was supposed to be running it!)  Although I was struggling at times I felt really great afterward.  We took a couple of small walk breaks due to the hilliness and my lack of exposure to hills in Houston.  It was such a gorgeous day for a run!  I sure do wish I had trails like this in my neighborhood to run.
Afterward we went to Silky Sullivan's (a restaurant owned by my Dad's close friend) for a delicious brunch.  I had an egg white omelet with tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, cheese and avocado, as well as a bowl of mixed fruit, several cups of black coffee and my splurge - a delicious biscuit with butter and strawberry jam.  This, of course, was in addition to my pre-run breakfast of 2c puffed kamut cereal and 1/2c Kashi Go Lean cereal topped with skim milk.
Unfortunately my layover was on the short side and my Mom took me to the airport very soon after brunch.  Our plane was delayed so I got a tall nonfat latte at Starbucks.  I had a grilled chicken spinach salad with balsamic dressing, loaded up with tomatoes, cucumbers, raw almonds and walnuts and a few shrimp.  I also had some grapes and snuck a few bites of cheese.
We had a little bit of sit time in Houston before our Austin flight so I just read my book (The Perfect Mile... book review to come soon!).  We had Governor Rick Perry on our flight (along with his wife and entourage) and I just got to the hotel a bit ago.  Had a 20 minute phone call with the very tipsy husband ... always entertaining... while snacking on some Mary's Gone Crackers Organic Herb crackers and a few pieces of my Theo organic fair trade Orange dark chocolate... yum!
I've got a long day tomorrow... first a quick flight to Houston, some sit time and then a San Diego turn.  I'm planning on waking up early to hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes, but I might need to reassess in the morning because I have a feeling I might be quite sore.  My legs are doing alright, but I took a step class back to back with a yoga class and for some reason my back is feeling like it got quite a work out... I guess that means I need to step it up on the upper body work!