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Tag Archives: personal

Valentine’s Weekend Festivities

13 Feb

The weekend was way to short, but I had a great time celebrating Valentine’s Day with Matt. Friday night I got into CT and we pretty much just relaxed. We exchanged small gifts. I got Matt a box of Valentine’s Russell Stover Chocolates and he got me a box of Reese’s Valentine’s chocolates (chocolate and peanut butter is my favorite combination).

Saturday we went to see the Vow.

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I wanted to go see a romantic movie this weekend. I wasn’t expecting much going into this movie, but I was actually surprised how much I liked it. It was incredibly sweet and not totally predictable, which I liked. Matt joked that he had never heard so much crying in a theater. Parts of it were sad but I would definitely recommend it.

After the movie we went for our couples massage! I think I enjoyed the experience a little more than the massage. It wasn’t the typical swedish or deep tissue massage I’m used to. The masseuse stretched my limbs a lot during the massage and it involved some shaking. Some parts were actually a little uncomfortable. I was kind of looking forward to just lying there, but this massage included a lot of movement. I did some searching online and I think we got a thai or shiatsu massage. After the massage we were offered a glass of wine some chocolates. We were able to sit down and just enjoy that. I did feel relaxed afterward and it was great sharing the experience with Matt, but I doubt I would go back to that spa again. I’m going to stick with relaxing massages.

I couldn't resist this picture, too cute.

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For dinner we went to this small pizza place that had amazing fresh bread and the pie we got was fantastic. We grabbed a bottle of wine for home and ended up watching a movie on NetFlix. I have wanted to watch An Affair to Remember for a long time, so we ended up watching that. I love old movies and this one is definitely a classic.

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Sunday I got caught up on Gossip Girl and I’m super frustrated with this season. I’ve been watching the show since the beginning. I love the fashion, but I think I really watch for the Chuck and Blair storyline. Now it’s just getting a little ridiculous, I hate that Chuck’s been chasing Blair for so long. I hope the show develops his character by himself without Blair for a while.

So that sums up my romantic little weekend with the boy.

Did anyone else see any good movies this weekend?

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Ways to Stay Active in the Winter

10 Jan

I can’t believe I start my last semester of grad school in one week. I’m excited that I’ll be finishing school and moving on with the next phase of my life. I know I have time to start looking for a new job, but I’m excited for all the new opportunities and adventures I’ll get to experience this year. Although I do enjoy my current job, it’s an entry level position and I’m already getting the itch to move on to something more challenging.

Last night I skipped my usual after work run and decided to go home and do some cleaning and laundry. I finally have all my Christmas cleaned up and put away. This morning I did a short 12 minute workout from BodyRock.tv called Turn Me On Fitness. At the gym today I did my 40 minute interval workout on the treadmill followed by this abs and arms workout (click on the picture to enlarge).

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I think I may have over worked myself today the arms and abs workout was brutal. I made up for it by enjoying  this delicious blueberry shake when I got home.

Very Berry Smoothie Ingredients:

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

5 whole frozen strawberries

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup vanilla bean greek yogurt

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 Tbsp flaxseed oil

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed

That’s it! I just blended it together and it was the perfect amount for my cold cup.

Ways to Stay Active in the Winter

What I love about winter are all the activities that are typically pretty cold weather specific. In the summer it’s very easy to get out and be active, during the cold months a little extra motivation is needed to go out into the cold, but it can be just as fun. I tend to take my rest days on the weekends so instead I like to try to get out and be active. These are some great cold weather activities to enjoy until spring comes back around.

Snowboarding/ Skiing

This is a more expensive option, but not only is snowboarding fun, but it’s also a great workout. Recreational snowboarding can burn 250 to 630 calories per hour for a 110-200 lb adult, so a day or half day at the slopes burns some major calories while also having fun. This is still on my to-do list this year, it’s just a matter of setting a time to go.

Ice Skating

Many towns have indoor and outdoor rinks where you can rent skates for a reasonable fee. This is also a great date idea in the winter. I’m trying to convince Matt to go next weekend, I’ve never gone so it should be an interesting experience.

Sledding

In high school me and my friends went sledding all the time in the winter. I even went a a few times with my friends in college. Sledding makes you feel like a kid again and is a very inexpensive way to enjoy the winter and the snow.

Snowshoeing

If you like hiking in the summer, you should try it’s winter counterpart. This is a great way to check out trails in a new way. There are parks and other locations that rent snowshoes if you don’t want to purchase them.

Going for a Walk

This is one of  my go-tos. Matt and I tend to go on a lot of walks around the city. We will grab a hot cocoa and just take in the sites around Cambridge and Boston, or do some window shopping around Newbury. I always make sure to layer-up and this is another activity that’s free and great to do with a friend.

What are your favorite cold weather activities?

I enjoy snowboarding even though I’m still new at it and not that good, but this winter has been a lot warmer than usual and we’ve been lacking in snow. There was a dusting this morning! I’m hoping for a little more snow so I can get out and enjoy it and luckily there’s more snow in the forecast this week! I am excited to try out ice skating at some point, possibly next weekend.

Keeping Up Your Workout Routine During the Holidays

22 Dec

I’m packed and ready to start my vacation for the holidays! Today I took a rest day. My body is super sore from working out pretty hard Monday through Wednesday, so I ended up waking up and doing a little yoga and stretching. Yoga is such a great way to unwind.

Today definitely dragged at work, probably because I was so excited to travel home, but it’s over and vacation has officially begun.

I love the holidays and as fun as they can be, it can also a stressful time that’s cruel to the waistline. I will definitely be enjoying all the food, baked treats and eggnog this year, but I will also make sure that I’m keeping up with my workouts.

I typically run about 2 to 3 times a week and do early morning cardio/ body weight training about 3 to 4 times a week. It’s important for me not to let this go by the wayside, so I’m going to stay active. Here are a few tips to keep up a workout routine during the holidays.

1. Pack Your Fitness Gear

Workout clothes were the first thing in my suitcase, they also took up a lot more room than expected

If you are going away for the holidays be sure to pack a sensible amount of workout clothes. I took some vacation time from work so I will be home for about 10 days. I packed six workout outfits and my sneakers. I know luggage space is valuable, but the only way you will actually workout is to have your gear ready. On top of workout clothes I brought a running jacket, winter head band, interval timer and my notebook where I log my workouts.

2. Schedule Workouts in Advance

No real reason for this pic except the puppy is adorable and looks like he's doing yoga.

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I know the next week will be pretty busy so I have already picked days that I know I will be able to fit in a workout. I will be opting for morning runs and exercises to start my day, leaving the rest of the day open to relax or enjoy holiday activities. Pick a time of day that works best for you and stick to it. Put out your clothes in advance or keep them in a spot that is easily accessible for when you are ready to exercise.

3. Don’t Overdo It With the Food

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I’m all for enjoying holiday food, but I also know it’s very easy to overdo it. Try not to stuff yourself and stick to your regular servings. I’m a big advocate of enjoying things in moderation. If you are considering going for another plate wait about 15 minutes to see if you are actually hungry. It takes time for food to digest and after waiting you may realize you aren’t that hungry after all.

3. Stick to What You Know

My go-to exercises are pushups and crunches, they are easy and no equipment is needed.

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This may not be the best time to try out a new exercise routine. I will be sticking to my old running routes and some of my go-to exercises. I also have some old exercise DVD’s at home that are also good substitutes in case the weather is too bad out for a run. Though I love getting a good workout in, I don’t really want to be extra sore during the holidays and this can happen if you start to work different muscles with new routines.

4. Have Fun With Family & Friends

Some of my best runs have been with my friends and Matt.

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Friends and family are home for the holidays so this is a great time to invite them to workout with you. Invite someone on a run or to the gym with you. Do a DVD workout together. The holidays are really about enjoying time with your loved ones, so why not include them in something you enjoy. One year my dad brought me to his gym with a guest past and I loved it. We did a spinning class (which I had never done before and really liked) and the next time I was able to try out some of the cardio equipment which was really advanced compared to my gym (TVs on every machine). I also loved that we were able to spend time together doing something we both enjoy.

This will be my last post until after Christmas so I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday! Merry Christmas everyone. From the weather reports they are saying CT may have a white Christmas this year, I’m keeping my fingers crossed ;)

What will you be doing to stay active during the holidays?

I will be getting in a couple of runs and may try out some old DVDs.

No Diet on Thanksgiving!

23 Nov

I’ve read a lot lately about ways to cook healthy Thanksgiving alternatives, eating smaller portions or cutting back calories and working out harder before you sit down for your turkey day dinner. I will say this right now, I don’t believe in dieting on Thanksgiving!

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I live an active and healthy lifestyle year round. Thanksgiving is one of the times of the year that I do like to indulge. I’ll eat a little more than usual, drink wine and have some extra dessert and I think this is absolutely OK. A lot of people that are worrying about calories on Thanksgiving, probably shouldn’t be.

I have a belief that life is all about balance and you shouldn’t deprive yourself. That’s why during a regular week if I want something sweet I will buy some chocolate or whatever else I’m in the mood for. If you deprive your body of something, you will only want it that much more. I also don’t think over-indulgence is a good thing either. I don’t buy large portions of sweets or snacks because I know there is a very good possibility that I will eat a sleeve of Oreos or way more Twinkies than I intended.

I definitely won’t be concerned about the amount of calories I take in tomorrow. I realize everyone is different, but no one should feel bad for taking a day off and just enjoying yourself. If you decide not to exercise, enjoy sleeping in. If you want another piece of pumpkin pie or another serving of stuffing, go for it!

I’m running a small road race tomorrow for fun, but after I’m going to enjoy the time with my family and all the good food.

What are your thoughts on Thanksgiving dieting?

A Twilight Weekend

21 Nov

I’m officially counting down the days until Thanksgiving. This weekend was pretty low-key (my fav). Matt and I rented Bad Teacher to watch on Friday night. For dinner we had some doctored up macaroni and cheese with green peas and spicy chicken sausage. I’m not big on dessert, but my favorite cold treat is Ciao Bella Mango Sorbet. I like that there are very few ingredients and the company uses real fruit in their sorbets. I think Matt and I have tried most of their sorbets and gelatos, but the mango is by far my favorite. It’s naturally fat free and has 120 calories per half cup serving.

Mango is by far the best Ciao Bella flavor


Saturday we decided to walk around Boston a bit before we went to go see Breaking Dawn Part I. I’m not a huge Twilight fan, but I have seen all the movies. The movie wasn’t bad, but I still think the first one might be my favorite. It was entertaining and more graphic than I thought it would be. Matt doesn’t like blood so there were a few scenes he thought were pretty gross. I was also a little surprised to see a little nudity during one of the honeymoon scenes, did anyone else catch the side shot of Kristen Stewart’s breast? I totally wasn’t expecting that. I’ve been avoiding reading the series, but I may try to suck it up and just get through it before the last movie comes out next year.

The honeymoon took up a good portion of Breaking Dawn, but it was really cute

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Yesterday, Matt drove back to Connecticut early so I went for a longish 5 mile run. It was right around two in the afternoon and it was absolutely gorgeous out. I ran through a few areas where the leaves had just fallen and I could smell that dry leaves as I crunched through them. I took a slower pace than usual, but my legs felt so tight. It was my first time running outdoors since the time change so it’s been a couple of weeks. Although I run 5 miles on the treadmill pretty regularly I felt like I was dragging. The run made me realize how much I miss my outdoor runs too.

Today I started out the morning with a BodyRock.tv routine called the Booty Shaping workout, which I felt more in my abs and arms than my butt. After work I was back on the treadmill. I did some intervals for 3.4 miles. This is my last run before the Turkey Trot. Tomorrow I’ll do a morning workout and Wednesday will be a day off.

Does anyone else notice a difference between running outdoors versus on a treadmill?

Optimizing Gym Workouts

10 Nov

Since it’s dark out by the time I get out of work I am no longer running outside and instead have been heading to the gym for my workouts. I’m not sure about you, but I think the gym can be really boring and I do everything I can to get in and out of there, but also keep it interesting. Here are some tips on ways to optimize your workout.

I will miss my evening fall runs

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1. Come with a plan

I always know what I plan to do at the gym before I get there. There’s always some sort of cardio where I set either a distance or time goal for the day. Some days I also decide to do a little weight training.

For my weight training I like to bring in workouts from either a magazine or online. Women’s Health Magazine always has great weight training or body weight workouts both in the magazine and online. Some other mags I will sometimes pick up are Shape, Self and even Cosmo sometimes has a good workout routine that your can tear out to bring to the gym with you.

Another web site that has pretty good workouts is Tone It Up! They will sometimes post some great printable workout routines. I’m a fan of the Beach Ball Workout.

Coming to the gym with a plan it will be that much easier to get in and get out without milling around trying to decide what you want to do that day.

2. Get in a high intensity workout

Another way to optimize your workout is to get in some high intensity interval training (HIIT). Cardio is great for your lungs but by adding interval training with short bursts of intensity (HIIT) you can burn more calories and fat quicker.

FitSugar has a link to a a couple of treadmill workouts that focus on interval training. These treadmill workouts are four different printable PDF’s for beginners, intermediate intervals, hills and sprint intervals. This interval treadmill workout can burn 500 calories in 41 minutes.

3. Mix it up

I love running, but sometimes running on a treadmill can be boring. I’ve learned to mix it up not only with distances and times, but also by adding intervals to my workouts. I will also try out different machines. I’m a fan of the Stairmaster for the glutes and the elliptical for days that I just don’t feel like running. Mixing it up goes beyond just cardio. It’s also a good idea to mix up the type of weight training you do.

Your body can begin to plateau if you are continually doing the same workouts. To continue to see results it’s a good idea to change the types of workouts you do.

I used to have a routine when I went to the gym. I ran between 4 and 5 miles and then I did a quick circuit on the equipment. My body did begin to plateau and I wasn’t seeing or feeling results. Now since I have begun to do some interval exercises in the morning and vary my intensity on my runs I’m feeling more challenged.

The gym may not always be fun but by planning your workouts, adding some intervals and mixing up your training you can get the most out of your time there and get in a great workout.

How do you mix up your workouts? What websites do you go to for great new workouts?

Clear Space, Clear Mind – Fall DeClutter

21 Oct

Apartment living comes with tiny closets and small amounts of storage space. This has caused me to really put a lot of thought into what will be in my drawers and closet. Almost a third of what I own ends up in storage for part of the year, which I prefer because I’m also a big proponent of de-cluttering. De-cluttering for me also means if I haven’t worn an item in 2 years this is the time to reevaluate if it needs to be a part of my wardrobe.

Last night was the start of my transition to Fall and Winter clothing. I went through all of my drawers and threw out old socks and other items that can’t be reused and made a small pile of clothes that will be headed to Goodwill. I also sorted through to see what would be transitioning into storage over the cold months. All my strappy sandals and heels, bathing suits, halter tops and the majority of my shorts are in a nice pile ready to go downstairs tomorrow afternoon.

Adios summer clothes, see you in 6 months :(

Now I will be able to bring up all my sweaters and heavy coats. I also have some more cold weather running gear that will start to be a necessity. Although I’m sad to see the summer stuff go into hibernation I do love wearing sweaters and coats in the colder months. The clear out also gives me the ability to reorganize and it feels like preparation for the new season. It’s a little ritual that I enjoy doing.

There’s a saying “clear space, clear mind” and I couldn’t agree more.

This morning I also got my clothes ready for my after work 5 mile run and then my weekend will officially start. Happy Friday everyone!

Shoes, watch, ipod, clothes - check. Ready for my after work run.

Any plans big plans for the weekend?

My First Post with 5kFashionista

30 Sep

Hi!

I’m Valerie, you can read some more about me in my about page. I’ve been thinking about blogging for a while now and I finally decided to try it out. I’m hoping it sticks.

Deciding what I wanted to blog about was easy. My favorite things to read and watch are based around fashion and exercise. Running has always been a little bit of an escape for me. I seriously think it helps keep me grounded. When I put on my sneakers and run 5 miles it feels like nothing in the world can stop me and I love that feeling. In that way I think running is so empowering, it’s one physical activity where only you can push yourself harder.

It’s funny because when I was younger I always considered myself more of a “tomboy.” I hated dresses and loved to run around outside and play sports. I still love being outside and sports, but now I actually don’t mind dresses. I’ll still take a pair of jeans and a cute top any day, but now I won’t pass on a really hot dress or skirt. I actually really enjoy dressing up and putting together outfits. I wanted to post some of my inspiration and fashion finds on this blog.

I came up with 5kFashionista because it combines two of my favorite things. 5ks (my favorite racing distance) and fashion.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts. Follow me or subscribe to my RSS feed if you like running and/or fashion. Also, let me know what type of posts you would like to see or any advice you have for a new blogger :)