|February 14th, 2013||Holiday|
Happy Valentine’s day! Bryan and I have this tradition that we exchange gifts at midnight on holidays and birthdays. Yesterday after work, however, I went to happy hour with some friends from my old job and I ended up falling asleep around 9:30. Bry woke me up around 11:30 and we exchanged gifts then instead. There was NO way I was staying up until midnight.
I absolutely love snoopy and Charlie Brown. It’s become a “thing” that I collect every Snoopy card I can find, so now Bryan gets me them for every holiday!
In honor of today being Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing with you 5 things that I love no matter what time of day or year. These things aren’t materialistic or can be easily replaced.
1. I love myself. YES! It’s important to love yourself. It took many years for me to become comfortable in my own skin (I had some REALLY awkward teen years), but I’m happy to say that I’ve become at peace with my imperfections.
2. I love my fiancé. Well duh, of course he would make the list. He’s always there for me when I need him and even when I don’t realize I need him. He seems to know when I’m upset (or getting upset) even before I do. I hate when people get mushy gushy on the internet, but whatever I don’t care today.
This is a photo of Bryan back in college, the first couple months we were dating.
He walked a mile to my apartment in a blizzard so we could hang out.
3. I love my family and friends. Clearly, these people would be on the list as well. If it weren’t for my friends and family, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I always try to get some girl-time in at least once a week. Everyone is super busy, but it’s important (for my own sanity) to get out of the house and talk makeup, weddings, and other girly stuff with my ladies!
4. I love being healthy. Health is gift that we should all be so thankful for. Health is something that I will have for (hopefully) a very long time. This is why I never feel bad spending money on healthy food, products, or exercise classes. Staying active is super important and I’m thankful each and every day that I am able to get out of bed in the morning and get my blood pumping.
5. I love LOVE and happiness. I’m going to sound like a hippie for a moment, but it’s true. I love love and happiness. There were definitely times in my life (like most people) that I was negative, aggravated and pissed a lot of the time. I actually remember during graduate school we had to describe ourselves in less than 5 words. My response: Pessimist trying to think optimistically. Ever since that day, I’ve always remembered my response and attempt to see the best in life and just enjoy what life brings me. Life’s too short to be hung up on the bad stuff.
Talk to Me
- What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?
- What are some things you always love?
- Where is your favorite place?
|January 1st, 2013||Goals, Holiday|
Today marks the 4th birthday of Simply Nicole! As my blog continues to grow, I am most grateful for my readers. Thank you to each and every one of you who continue to read, comment, and share your stories with me. I can’t wait to embark on another year with every one!
Resolutions from 2012
Last year around this time, I made some overarching 2012 resolutions/goals. Although I make monthly goals (which I believe are sometimes more attainable), I also want to make 2013 goals to keep in mind all year round. For instance, here are last years’ resolutions and their statuses.
1. Dedicate more time to writing. Writing for my freelance job, personal journal, Simply Nicole.
- Interestingly enough the freelance gig I had at the beginning of 2012 ended shortly after the new year, but a few months later I started writing for FitDay.com. I didn’t start a personal journal this year, but I always want to have something tangible to read when I’m 40. Simply Nicole has grown a lot over the past year. The frequency of posts have increased and I’ve brought on a bunch of new blog readers and followers on social media.
- Yep. I did it! All year I knew that it was one of my major goals for 2012, so back in April I registered for the Philly Half Marathon and in November I ran it! You can find read about my half marathon training posts by clicking on that link.
3. Move into an apartment.
- We did move back in January to a decent townhome, but we hope to be moving again in April. We need more living and entertaining space. Our current place doesn’t allow for more than 2 other people to be over at any given time. The washer and dryer is constantly giving us problems, and I’m just over the whole situation.
4. Find dancing opportunities. Whether this be taking random classes or teaching part-time. It needs to come back into my life.
- I didn’t focus on this goal as much as I would have liked to in 2012. Instead of dancing opportunities, I did focus a bit on yoga! I hope to integrate yoga into my 2013 goals.
**I’ll be posting my 2013 yearly resolutions as well as my January goals tomorrow.
Talk to Me
- Did you accomplish your 2012 resolutions last year?
- How long have you had your blog (if you’re a blogger )
- What’s your favorite memory from 2012?
|December 26th, 2012||Gear, Holiday|
I finally got it.
The Garmin Forerunner 405 that I’ve been talking about and wanting for over a year now.
Thanks Bry! I wasn’t even expecting a Christmas present this year, due to that sparkly thing on my finger. You know… no big deal or anything.
I’ve taken a break from running since the half marathon, but now that I have my new Garmin I’m very excited to get back out there and start running again. It wasn’t too difficult to set up… once I figured out how to turn off the foreign language I accidentally set.
The only thing I need to figure out is how to set up the drivers so my laptop can read the USB stick. I downloaded everything it told me to and even tried re-downloading the drivers, but nothing is being read. Anyone else come across this problem?
On another note: a giveaway tomorrow!
Getting back into the gym
I don’t know about any one else, but I’m itching to go back to the gym after a pretty long hiatus. After my half marathon training, I really injured my knee and didn’t want to risk causing more damage. Now that it’s all better again, I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.
A routine is how I get back into the gym. If I go to the gym everyday before or after work, I’ll be more likely to keep going. However, if I go once and then skip a few days, I’m more likely to skip many days.
With my busy work schedule, I know that the best time for me to go to the gym is probably in the mornings, however I like to use my mornings to catch up on freelance projects and blogging. That being said, I’m going to try and go after work this week and see how I feel. If I’m really sluggish, I’ll switch over to mornings.
Talk to Me
- How do you get back into the swing of things after a long hiatus?
- What running watch do you own? Do you like it?
- Are you trying any new workouts for the new year?
|December 20th, 2012||Advice, Holiday|
As the holiday season is among us, you may be attending more social get-togethers than in months past. I’ve been to many holiday parties lately, and even have our company party tonight! Although you’ll be wining and dining a lot more, that doesn’t mean that you have to through your healthy lifestyle out the window! Here are my top 5 tips to staying healthy at holiday parties.
Please note: I am not a nutritionist, dietitian or a medical doctor. These are the tips that have worked for me during the holiday season.
1. Limit yourself to one drink. I know you’re probably thinking… I want to get drunk! It’s the holidays! That’s fine every once in a while, but if you’re going to multiple holiday parties it may make more sense to limit your alcohol consumption – therefore cutting out hundreds of calories. Another tip: skip any sugary mixers!
2. Go for the fresh fruits and veggie platters. Holiday parties can be the ultimate test of your willpower. Cookies, cakes, candy canes galore more than likely will show up at the next gathering you attend. Having a cookie isn’t going to kill your diet, but if you know that you can’t just have a few go straight for the fruit and veggie platter. Loading up on these early in the night will minimize your chance of binging on sweets later on. Be careful of heavy milk based dips or sauces. I personally like balsamic vinaigrette or hummus!
3. Please don’t drink and drive. I know this is a given, but some people still take part in drinking and driving and put not only themselves at risk, but everyone else on the roads. This goes back to tip #1. If you know you are the designated driver, make sure you only have one drink early in the night to give yourself enough time to get food into your system.
4. Stay hydrated. Of course it’s important to drink water all year round, but during the holidays it’s especially important. Drinking enough water is key to waking up feeling like a queen (or king)! If you do end up drinking a bit more than you anticipated, make sure to drink at least two large glasses of water before going to bed.
5. Bring a healthy dessert to the party. You’ll be a good party guest and also provide you with a safe alternative to the buttery cakes and cookies later. There are many dessert recipes online that are healthy! I for one love Julie’s 2 ingredient pumpkin cookies. They are to die for. You must make them.
Talk to Me
- What do you do to stay healthy during the holiday season?
- Do you typically let loose around the holidays or do you stick to your current healthy lifestyle?
- What’s your favorite healthy dessert during the holidays?
|December 18th, 2012||Holiday, Living|
I’m very pessimistic when it comes to random acts of kindness on the internet. There are so many hoaxes out there and it pains me to know that there are people out there who make up these horrible stories.
So when Bryan told me about Dalton Dingus, I was hesitant to act. When he told me the story was legitimate, I did my own research and found that the story was in fact real.
So who is Dalton Dingus?
Dalton Dingus is a 9-year-old boy from Salyersville, KY, living with stage 4 cystic fibrosis. He has been sent home because the hospital cannot do much more for him. His goal is to beat the Guinness World Record for the most Christmas cards.
Although some reports state that Dalton already broke the record for receiving the most Christmas cards, spokeswoman Jamie Panas said that Guinness does not currently monitor a category for this.
However, Guinness does have an old record for this category. The last official time Guinness allowed for a Christmas card category was in 1992 when Canadian Jarrod Booth had collected 205,120.
Guinness is in touch with the Dingus family and is in the process of determining if a new record category can be made.
You can find more information about Dalton and his goal on these websites:
Bryan and I wanted to get involved and help Dalton reach his goal of a Guinness World Record. I bought a card this past weekend and yesterday we finally wrote a message inside to be mailed today.
It takes just a few dollars to mail a card, but I can’t even express how much joy it brought us to craft a message and seal the envelope.
If you would like to get involved and send Dalton a Christmas card, you can send to:
HC 62 1249
Salyersville, KY 41465
In a recent story for ABC, Dalton’s mother Jessica said, “Dalton has been doing really well the past three weeks. He is still very weak but improving. The cards give him something to look forward to. Something to get excited about,” she said. “The prayers are working.”
Talk to Me
- Have you sent/will you send Dalton a Christmas card?
- Do you typically mail Christmas cards to your friends and family?
- Do you receive Christmas cards from your friends and family?
|December 13th, 2012||Holiday|
YAY. Tomorrow is my birthday. I took off for the entire day so I can enjoy my birthday without worrying about work. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing exactly yet, but I know I won’t be blogging extensively tomorrow, which is why I’m talking about my birthday a day early.
My birthday celebrations started a few days early surprisingly. Last night I went out with one of my old roommates at this really great Japanese restaurant, and she bought me dinner! Thanks roomie!
To get into the birthday spirit, I looked through birthdays from the past few years. Let’s take a look at birthdays past (starting with the most recent)
There have been some great birthdays over the years and I know tomorrow will be just as special. I have a few things lined up.
- sleeping in a little bit
- going to Starbucks for my free birthday drink
- getting a massage – my massage therapist sent me a 50% off birthday coupon!
- maybe a yoga or zumba class if I can find a good Groupon
- shopping for a birthday dinner dress
- birthday dinner with a few friends
Tomorrow’s basically going to be the most perfect day. It’s going to be a busy day, but a relaxing one at that!
Talk to Me
- What is your favorite thing to do on your birthday?
- Do you have any birthday traditions?
- Are you a cake or cupcake person?
|December 12th, 2012||Holiday, Living|
This past weekend, I told you that Bryan and I bought our first Christmas tree together. Although it was a rainy adventure, it was still very festive. We didn’t get around to decorating the tree until Monday night, because we wanted to make sure all of the branches had fallen and were completed dry.
Although we didn’t have a variety of ornaments, I think we did a good job with what we had.
What’s on our tree?
- glass ornaments (silver, gray, and glitter) from Target
- white LED lights
- strands of red beads
- tree topper from Crate and Barrel
We didn’t have any random ornaments, because we didn’t buy any yet. I think each year we’ll buy one special ornament that reflects something special from the year. I’m thinking this year I should try and find an engagement ring ornament. That would be pretty fitting. I also plan on hitting up Target after the holidays and getting random ornaments at a discounted price for next year.
I made the decorating experience even better with the Pandora Christmas station and the Michael Buble Christmas special. Bryan kept asking why Michael Buble gets his own Christmas special… my response – because he’s Michael Buble, has an amazing voice, and appeals to the masses.
Talk to Me
- White lights or colored?
- Do you have any tree decorating traditions?
- What’s your favorite holiday song?
|November 22nd, 2012||Diary, Holiday|
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! For Thanksgiving morning, Bryan and I are heading to the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade. We went last year and had such a great time that we’ve decided to go again this year. I’ll be grabbing a Dunkin Donuts coffee on the ride down to the city, because we’re leaving super early in the morning to beat the crowds and get a parking spot.
Bryan and I at the 2011 Thanksgiving Parade
After the parade, we’ll be going to his parents’ house for Thanksgiving dinner! Can’t wait to spend the next few days relaxing. Thank goodness for the holidays. For those of you in the states, I hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving.
Normal posting will resume tomorrow morning.
Talk to Me
- What are you doing for Thanksgiving?
- What’s your favorite item to eat during Thanksgiving dinner?
- Who do you spend Thanksgiving with?
|July 5th, 2012||Holiday, Running|
I hope you all had a great holiday yesterday. Mine was pretty relaxing, although I wouldn’t have wanted it any differently. I woke up around 8am to go to the bathroom, but after walking around I wasn’t tired enough to go back to sleep. I put on my gym clothes early, because I knew that I wanted to get a workout in before heading to Bry’s parents’ house. Unfortunately, the gym didn’t open today until 10am because of the holiday, so I sat around for a couple hours watching the Glee Project and eating some Chobani!
Once I got to the gym, I was thrilled to see not a soul in the place! I had it all to myself. I turned on my treadmill and watched the Independence Day parade in Center City, Philly. Festive. After a sweaty 3 miles of running, stopping for water, and jogging to wipe off the puddles of sweat (yep, you guessed it… it was hot again in the gym), I finally decided I had enough for 1 day.
I did a short ab workout and then sat around for a while to try and cool off before heading home.
After a quick shower, Bry and I drove to his parents’ house for a pool session, early dinner and cake! We dined outside (my favorite) and I had shrimp, corn on the cob, and cheesy potatoes. For everyone else, there was an abundance of steaks! I knew I wasn’t going to drink a lot because I have work today, so I sipped on a Twisted Tea and called it a night.
We left their house around 6:00 and made our way to a township near our house for some fireworks. We got there 2 hours early, which ended up working out because we got a great parking spot and place to sit!
How did you spend your 4th?
Did you get a workout in? If so, what did you do?
|July 4th, 2012||Holiday, Running, Uncategorized|
First off, Happy 4th of July!! I am so happy that I’m off from work today. That means I have the entire day to do as I please. A gym session will start around 10, then heading to Bry’s parents’ house for some pool and dinner, then back home for fireworks! What are you doing for the holiday today?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a “form of exercise where you do a short period of high intensity exercise followed by a short period of low intensity exercise.”
The reason that I like HIIT runs on the treadmill is because it really makes it interesting. Normally on the
deathmill treadmill, I get super bored. There’s only so many TVs I can watch or people I can watch going to and from the pool. HIIT makes running on the treadmill bearable. When doing a HIIT treadmill run, you have to be constantly watching the time, so you know when to adjust your speed. The miles actually felt like they went a bit faster as well! No problems there!
I developed a 2 mile HIIT treadmill run that works for me right now. The speed might not be as fast as some of you are used to running, so you can obviously adjust the times and/or speed according to your personal preference and abilities.
After completing my 2 miles (9 miles left to complete this week!), I was dripping with sweat as usual. I stretched a bit and did a few ab exercises. I did 100 regular crunches + 50 bicycle crunches + a 1:30 min plank.
I got to take gym pictures without having people stare at me! The gym was empty!
Have you ever tried HIIT runs? If so, what are your thoughts.
Do you take pictures in public places, like your gym?