Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The day I fell from the Sky - Date

A little know fact about Joe is that he was on the West Point Skydiving team. He has jumped out of a plane 1,000s of times. He wanted to share his passion for skydiving with me. So we took a day trip to Skydive Arizona and got a chance to experience something that he loves.
Photos of Joe from his days at West Point
Skydiving has always been something that I have wanted to do. I love aviation and it is a little part of the industry. But I was never brave enough to do it alone. I was so excited when Joe told me about the day he had planned, but I was so nervous. The entire 2 hour drive to Skydive Arizona all I could think about was how I was about to fall out of a plane. What was I thinking. But at this point Joe and I have only been dating for a few months so I really wanted to make a good impression on him. I mean, who doesn't want to date a fun and adventurous girlfriend? Joe had the entire day planned. He made sure that we were in the same plane, even though he jumped alone. He also made sure that the entire process was documented. He got a photographer and videographer to capture my first jump!

I was so anxious as I got my gear on and watched the safety video about jumping. I got my tandem partner and he instructed me on what to do. Who knew you only needed 30 minutes and you were good to go to jump out of a plane. Since Joe has jumped many times in the past, we were put in the plane with all of the "regular" jumpers. I was the only one with a tandem partner. My nerves continued as we walked out to the plane and got in. Joe was by my side the entire time.

We finally reach the correct altitude and everyone got ready to jump. It was getting real. Joe gave me one last kiss and then he prepared to jump out of the plane. Everyone jumped and I was the last one to go. I got strapped to my partner and we made it out to the door just in time to watch Joe jump. I was super impressed that he knew exactly what to do. Be fore I knew it it was time to go. I got to the door and took a look out, the ground was so far away, and I was out the door before I can chicken out. The few moments on the edge of the door were amazing.

The free fall was amazing. I honestly thought that it would go by so quickly, but it didn't. I feel like time actually went by slower. The air blowing past my face, the cool air on my arms, and the joy of being in free fall. I was taking it all in and then everything got so quiet. The parachute was pulled and we were gliding slowly to the ground. It is amazing how you go from falling so fast to gently gliding. As I was getting closer to the ground I looked around and took it all in. The ground approached and we had a soft landing. Joe was waiting on the ground for me and greeted me with a kiss.

Skydiving was so much fun and I loved ever minute of it. If you haven't done it, you really should do it at least once. Thank you Joe for making this day so special and I can't wait to do it again.

Have you ever been skydiving?
What is the one thing that you have always wanted to do, but haven't had the courage?

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Clean Eating Shopping Tips and an Update

Update: It has been one full week of clean eating. It feels so good to be back on track. I have been making 3 healthy meals a day, with a few healthy snacks. I have been feeling better and have noticed a change in the way clothes are fitting. I am done 4 lbs and my stomach is flatter. I have also had an increase in my energy level. I am loving cooking and trying new things. I am thinking about adding 2 days of eating vegan a week. Any thoughts?

Here are a few healthy tips for grocery shopping and eating clean!

  • Write down your grocery list - I heard this tip on the radio on my morning drive into work and I love it! Studies show that people who write down their list tend to not buy extra food. I must admit, I free style it at the store, but I will start to write it down in order to only by the food that I need. 
  • Eat before you go to the store - I have made this mistake all of the time and leave with food that I really didn't want to need. 
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store - Try to stay out of the isles.  All of the good stuff is on along the walls of the store. Usually you will find the fruit and veggies on one side of the store  and the meat along the wall. In the isles you will find boxed and process food. 
  • Fill your cart with fruit and veggies - but mainly veggies. It's important to fill up on natural food. I try my best to eat vegetables with every meal. 90% of the food in my cart comes out of the fruit and vegetable section. 
  • If you can't read what's label, don't buy it Avoiding foods that contain more than five ingredients, artificial ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce.
  • Calories are not the only thing to look at on a label, I always look at sugar - It is really easy to get carried away looking at calories on a label, but I am always  looking at the sugar first. Take the yogurt, you think yogurt is good for you right? Well some yogurt is and some is just sugar with a label that reads "low-fat yogurt". Fruit flavor yogurts can have up to 26 grams of sugar in the 6oz cup.

What are your shopping tips for healthy eating?

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Is it November Yet? - H54F Link Up

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Lately, I have been trying to get my life back on track and counting down the days until this deployment is over. I have been passing my time with eating healthy, working out, running, and putting some finishing touches on our house. Work has also been consuming my life, but it is amazing to only work 4 days a week. With all of these things going on, I have been really bad at taking photos. But here is my High Five For Friday link up with Lauren Elizabeth!

1. Eating clean. I finally got back on the wagon and am only eating food that is good for me. I am making every meal and making sure that I am getting a nice balance of good food and the correct amount of calories in my body. I am already seeing differences in my body and I can't wait to see what next week will bring me. I am loving edamame as a side dish or just as a snack. 

2. On Wednesday, I treated myself to a new haircut and a manicure. Nothing feels better then having perfectly polished nails and amazing hair! I didn't do anything to crazy with my hair, I just got a trim in hopes that it will grow a little bit longer in the next month. 

3. Thursday, I finally went to the DMV to get my Colorado drivers license. So, it's official, I am now living in Colorado. I guess it's time to change my About Me page! 

4. I have been trying to fill my time at home and use my cable more often. I finally decided I would watch Army Wives and see what all of the hype is all about. I am hooked. At first I was frightened about my life as an army wife, but now I know that this show is as dramatized as it can get. If that's as bad as it gets I can handle it. But what I can't handle is watching the soldiers in the show be deployed. It hits a little to close to home and I have shed a tear or two watching this show. But I am eager to keep watching it. Joe said he is going to watch it too, so that he can let me know what is accurate and what is fake. 

5. It's officially less than 50 days until Joe is home!!! I am so excited, yet nervous at the same time. I have been trying to find things to keep myself busy to help the time go by. I have even painted the steps to go to our patio. This week, I have booked a photographer to be at Joe's homecoming to capture those special moments. I am really happy to be able to have someone there take photos that we will cherish forever.

Have a great weekend!! 

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

A dragon is totally an Animal! - BBB Link UP

It's that time of the month again, Joe is taking over my blog and linking up with Stephanie and Mallory for their Boys Behind the Blog series. Joe is loving taking over my blog and answering these questions and I am loving reading his answers (plus it's nice to get a pass on writing a blog post). This guy cracks me up sometimes. Here are his answers to this months questions:

1. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
I would be a dragon. I could fly, breathe fire, and have invincible armor scales.

***UPDATE, Joe let me know that he meant a dragon like this(not like the cute one I picked) He said my dragon could do nothing:

2. What is your favorite meal?
 Filet Mignon, baked potato, blue moon and a chocolate fudge brownie.  Additionally, I am looking forward to eating some Honey BBQ wings from Bdubs or a good slice of New York Style Pizza.

3. Do you use any forms of Social Media? What is your favorite? 
The only social media I use is Facebook, I use it to get messages from friends, I do not post anything.  I also use Bloglovin to keep up with my favorite blogger, Stephanie at Living in the Moment.

4. Beer, wine, liquor, other, or none of the above?
I am not a big drinker.  I ocossionally drink beer with a meal and liquor or wine if I am out for the night.  I do not drink much because I do not like being hungover.

5. Complete the sentence: "Never have I ever..."
Never have I ever skinny dipped, hunted or smoked a cigarette.

Thanks for stopping by, 
Mal Smiles

*Stephanie picked all photos used for this post, including the cute dragon ;)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our Date at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Joe has been giving me prompts for my Wednesday posts and this week he wanted me to take a trip down memory lane and share our date to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo here in Colorado Springs. We went late last November and I loved it! I have always enjoyed a trip to the zoo and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of the best zoos that I have ever been too.

The zoo set on the side of Cheyenne Mountain and is a very nicely put together. All of the animals are so close, you are only a few feet away from them and the exhibits are very informative. They have a wide range of animals everything from a family of gorillas (baby gorilla included), hippos, a moose, zebras, and every other animal you can think of. Like most zoos the animals are grouped together by region. It is a smaller zoo, but we spent at least a half of the day there.

The best part of the zoo is the giraffe exhibit. You can feed the giraffes! It was by far the highlight of the day. It is only $3 to get a handful of giraffe treats. There are over a dozen giraffes ready to be pet and fed. They are all so friendly and adorable. I am pretty sure  we  Joe spent over $30 on treats and I am pretty sure I used almost every single piece of leaf that we bought. I was practically hugging them while Joe was keeping his distance, as you can see in the pictures above. We went back to feed them 3 times! I had nothing but a huge smile on my face! Joe always knows how to make me smile. I am one lucky girl.

There is also a ski lift that takes you up to the top of the mountain to an amazing view. There is a rock climbing wall and other things for kids of all ages to enjoy! It was so nice to get to spend time with Joe just hanging around. I am loving looking back at what Joe and I have done and I can't wait to make new memories with him once he returns! He is coming home in less then 50 days, by the way!! I am so excited.

What is your favorite date activity?
Do you know of any Must See places in Colorado?

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Quest for Eating Clean

Every since my fall on Thursday, I have really been looking at fitness and clean eating differently. I woke up Friday morning knowing that I need to make some changes in both my diet and my fitness. I didn't want to just try some crash diet, I wanted to make a lifestyle change. I guess I should tell you that I have always had a pretty healthy lifestyle. I have gotten off track a few times and recently I have been way off track.  I have gained about 5 lbs since I moved to Colorado and EVERYONE at my new job is all about getting food (usually some form of fast food from the airport), add stress to that equation and I was not feeding my body the food that I needed to keep up with my runs, let alone my day.

After a few hours of looking online I found a 30 day clean eating challenge. I decided this is exactly what I need to get back on track and hopefully see some positive changes in my body and energy level. I am not big on cooking and I don't really have the time. But the past 3 days I have made it a point to find time and to keep up with this challenge.

Here is what I have been doing:

  • Breakfast is a must! I was always guilty of skipping breakfast, I just don't really care for it. But then I find myself starving by lunch and over eating through out the day. I have been starting my day off with 2 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, and 1/2 an avocado. This has been really yummy and keeping me full until well past lunch time.  I am getting my protein and fats in mg body in the morning which is allowing my body the entire day to use them. 

  • Lunch and Dinner = Protein and Veggies. I have been making sure that the majority of my meals have been a small portion of chicken or fish (salmon) and a huge helping of veggies. I have been baking my veggies. I have completely cut out grains, artifical sugars, pasta, dairy, and everything that comes in a package. 

  • It's ok to snack! If I get hungry in between my meals I have a few go to snacks. I will package baby carrots, apple slices, almonds, or berries. It's important to package theses into a small container so that you don't over eat. 
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare! Every morning when I make my breakfast I also cook my lunch and dinner. Then I'm only cooking for 30 minutes. Since I am alone, I made enough for 2 days! On my days off I will try to cook my food through out the day, but since I have been working the past few days its been nice to have meals ready to go. 

I have successfully finished 3 days of clean eating and working out. I feel better and I am already starting to see changes in my body. I will be posting weekly updates of how my journey has been going to keep you all informed and I would love it if you would like to join me! 

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Just Run

Last night, I had finally decided it was time for me to start to train for my marathon. Ever since my 1/2 marathon, I haven't had much motivation to run. For the first time in my life, running doesn't feel good. It doesn't feel right. I have always been a runner and it has been something that I have always enjoyed. But, it has always been something that I have been able to share with someone. I have always had a running partner. In college it was my best friend Amanda, we would run for miles and miles, make her dad go get us ice cream, and then run more. I truly believe that running is what made us best friends. I use to run when I was bored, run when I needed to think, and run to work out. I loved to run. 

Fast forward to today, I am now living in Colorado. I am alone, I have no one to run with, and the altitude sucks. I am counting down the days until Joe is able to be home with me, this deployment is really starting to take a toll on me. I get out for a run and only make it a few miles because I don't love to run, I give up, and I tell myself that I can't do it.  Have I mentioned that I can't breath? I think it is a combination of the high altitude and the clean air. I have gained a few pounds and it has just been excuse after excuse of why I can't run, why I shouldn't run, or I just don't want to run. My pace has gone from 8:30 to a 10:00 at best.

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend, got my oil changed, and took a nap. I woke up and decided that I can't live like this. I can't just sleep and eat. That will get me no where. I need to make the best of my time alone, I need to be the independent, strong woman that I know I am. 

I decided it was enough with the excuses, I was going to run. I put on my old, go-to running shoes. It was raining so I didn't want to ruin the brand new shoes I just bought. I put on pants and a long sleeve and started on my run. It was sprinkling at this point and I felt good. I had some sweet tunes on and I was starting to get into a groove. I decided I would stay in my sub-division since it was getting dark. I took a turn and, at about the .75 mile mark, I fell. 

I was in a bit of disbelief as I laid on the ground face down for what felt like eternity. My hands and knees throbbed as I pushed myself up. I walked for a few feet and then began to think about running. Why do I run, what do I get out of it, why was I so unhappy? As these questions flooded my mind, I made a choice that I would finish my run and re-dedicate my training for myself. I run for ME. It makes ME happy. I am unhappy because I am alone and I will not be alone forever. As I ran, I had a mixture of tears and rain flowing down my face. I began to think about the deployment and how lucky I am to have a supportive family, amazing friends (blog friends included), a job doing what I love, and a supportive boyfriend that is constantly supporting me. I am not alone. 

I got back into my run and finished it, I finished the 3 miles I set out to run. I finished it for me. I can run and I am a runner. It is kind of sad that it takes me falling on my face to realize these things. But sometimes I guess it's great to start from the bottom and work your way up. My marathon is in early January and I know I can do it. I am excited to get back into running and I can't wait to share my love of running with Joe once he gets home. 

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Painting with a Twist - Date Night

Right before Joe left for Afghanistan, we went on a date to Painting with a Twist! Painting with a twist is a group painting studio where you are given step by step instructions on "the painting of the night". The twists is the Wine and Beer that they sell.

I think Joe was a little bit thrown off when he first walked in. Out of 40 people in the room he was 1 of 4 men. That didn't stop his excitement. We found our seats, got our bottle of wine, and began to paint. I guess I should have started this post with letting you know that neither Joe or I have any artistic bone in our bodies. Our sisters both got those genes. I am crafty, but I can't draw at all. I was slightly nervous.

Our group of women people were all in good spirits. Everyone was ready to have a good time. We were given our blank canvas and instructed to paint our "Tree of Light". The first step was easy, just up and down, not much to it. Then the blending of colors came. The back ground was suppose to be a nice blend of blues, greens, and black. But mine looked like a blue background. I just went with it.

Next, we were given instructions on how to draw the body of the tree. This was nice because the instructor gave us line by line instructions, while still allowing us to make it our own.  This is were things got funny. Joe, did exactly what the instructor said, he did not vary and it he did not make it his own. The instructor would give us 10-15 minutes to make it how we wanted it and Joe would be done in less then 30 seconds. I am not sure what that was all about. We were given the instructions on how to make the light and all the finishing touches.

Finally, our trees were completed and our wine bottle was empty. We let our painting dry and then took them home. Our paintings are currently at my parents house hanging in my room. I can't wait to go again when Joe is home, so that we can make some paintings for our home. I found it so funny that our paintings looked so different, even though we were given the exact same instructions.

I have to ask, which painting do you like better?

What was your favorite date night activity?
Have you ever tried a place similar to Painting with a Twist?

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Things I am loving about Colorado

I have been in Colorado for over 30 days now and I am really enjoying it. Here are a few things that I am currently loving about Colorado:
  • I am loving the mountains. It's so nice to look out my window and see Pikes Peek or go from a run and have trees all around. I am so blessed to live in such an amazing place. 

  • I am loving driving in less traffic. Living in Los Angeles was great, but the traffic was horrible. It is amazing how much traffic can affect your mood. Last weekend I went back home and realized that traffic gives me so much stress. It is so nice to come to Colorado and have less traffic. I drive 70 miles to work and I don't mind the hour drive because I am actually  moving. 
  • I am loving my new friends. It is so nice to move some where and have friends instantly. That is kind of what happened to me here in Colorado. I had my Blogging friends Mal and Kaitlyn. Plus, I had a few other friends in the area. Some through mutual friends and family. Mal has been my go to friend her in Colorado, we have had many dinner dates, watched a movie, and just hung out. I am sure we will continue to be great friends. Kaitlyn has been amazing, she was my resource on Colorado before I even got here. Once I did get here, she invited me over to meet some of her friends. 

  • I am loving my new job! I had been stressing about not working once I moved out here for about 6 months. Joe assured me that everything would be ok if I didn't have a job but I need to work for my sanity. I love working, it is part of who I am. I received the call almost 2 months ago and within a few weeks, I was moving to Colorado. Denver International has been amazing. I have learned so much about airport ops and my co-workers couldn't be any nicer. I am also loving my 3 day weekends! Working only 4 days a week is awesome. 
I am excited to explore Colorado even more, once Joe gets back in November. This will be our first home together and I can't wait to make a ton of memories and share some of them along the way. 

Do you know of anything fun we should do in Colorado?
What do you love about where you live?

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall is in the Air! - Sunday Social

This Sunday, I am linking up with A Complete Waste of Makeup for her Sunday Social! 

1. What is your favorite fall activity? 

I really love Halloween and everything that goes along with it. Decorating the house, carving pumpkins, picking out a costume, and going to Haunted Houses. I also love pumpkin bread.
2. Do you follow a football team? If so, which one and why?

I don't really follow one teem per say. I just enjoy football in general. I really love going to a game. Nothing feels more like fall then tailgating, sitting at a stadium, and watching football. I even like going to Buffalo Wild Wings so that Joe can keep track of his fantasy football team. (don't tell him that because that will give him the excuse to do it ever weekend)

3. What is something fun about fall in your area?
We just moved to Colorado, but last year we came out to check out the area. We went to the BEST haunted house ever!! I just happened to pick a house that is at the same exit as this amazing haunted house. I am also really looking forward to experiencing my first real fall. I am excited to see the leaves change colors and actually feel the need to layer. Who knows, with fall in the air I might actually get into the whole Starbucks pumpkin latte craze!
4. What are your favorite fall staple outfits?

Boots, sweaters, and light jackets!! I have never had a real fall ( I lived in California and Florida my whole life) so I am really excited to experiment with layers and really cute fall outfits. 
5. What things are you looking forward to most about this coming fall season?

I am really looking forward to Joe coming home from Afghanistan. This deployment has been way too long and I am ready to have Joe back home. I am sad that he will miss Halloween and his birthday, but I am so thankful that he will be here for Thanksgiving. 

6. What is your favorite fall holiday? Tradition?
Like I said above, I really like Halloween. But, nothing beats getting permission to eat whatever you want  and as much as you want and being able to spend time with your family and friends. So, it would have to be Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for so many things and what a better way to celebrate it with the people I love and care about eating food. 

Sunday Social

What do you love about Fall?
Any advice on what I should wear to keep warm this fall?

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