Striking a Balance

Happy Monday!

It feels like forever since I last posted on the blog!

I am alive and well; life has just been so crazy. I am still figuring out this whole work-life balance thing. I haven’t talked much about work on the blog, but I am getting to a place where I am enjoying most of everyday. The office is quite young (I would say the median age is in the late 20s) and everyone is energetic and lots of fun. We eat lunch together, have happy hours, and forward funny videos. I especially appreciate that everyone seems to genuinely enjoy the work, and just generally has a great attitude about the job. I loved being able to take my first business trip last week. It was totally unexpected (my boss asked me on Monday if I wanted to leave Tuesday night) and I jumped at the opportunity to actually meet clients in person. However, I didn’t return home until 10:30 on Wednesday evening, and then had to go to work in the morning as usual! My job is not a 9-5 deal, and I feel a little pressured to get in early and stay late. Thankfully, I am getting to a place where I feel pretty competent and am actually enjoying (most of) what I do, so the hours spent at work aren’t too painful.

The biggest downside about spending lots of time at work is that it cuts into my friend-making time. For the first time in my life, I do not have a built in friend group from just being in school. It has been an adjustment trying to seek out people with common interests and trying to be their friend, without appearing too desperate. I do have a few friends/acquaintances in Charlotte, as does my roommate, and between the two of us we almost have even people to form a friend group lol. In addition to meeting people through mutual friends, I am attending a church and its associated young adult group. I am thinking about maybe joining a gym/yoga studio, but I might have to wait for a Groupon 🙂 I am looking forward to relying on a solid group of people that I can call if I find an interesting event to attend, or just want someone to hang out with on a weekend.

All this friend searching has caused me to choose socializing over sleep in the short run, in hopes of building friendships for when I am not so tired. I don’t know if that makes sense, but basically I find myself going out with people when all I want to do is sleep. However, thus far Friday nights have been reserved for 10-12 hours of glorious sleep.

Okay, so I realize that this may not appear as a “healthy living” post at first glance, but I do think that having friends, a fulfilling job, and adequate sleep are all important in living healthy…so that’s how I am going to justify it 😉

Side note: My camera refuses to work and claims there is  a “lens error” whenever I turn it on! I am going to try and borrow my roommates camera for the next couple of weeks, until I cave and buy a new camera. Also the track ball inside my BlackBerry decided now was a great time to loosen and randomly fall out of my phone…so a new phone is probably in my near future.

Advertisements

The Fourth

I hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July holiday! I sure did. 🙂

On Tuesday after work, I drove to the small town of Hickory, North Carolina to visit one of my friends who is interning here through the summer. The hour drive was thankfully traffic free, and I took the opportunity to turn up the music and belt out some of my favorite songs. While I am not a fan of driving in the city, I love being on the open highway and just spending a little alone time in the car.

After I arrived, Ashley gave me a little tour of the downtown area. It was so cute and rustic!

We went to a local place for dinner and Ashley had the brilliant idea of making the most delicious dessert ever (that Kath had apparently made over the weekend). These little muffin-shaped desserts and ridiculously decadent, and full of sugar and (most importantly) chocolate. I craved something sweet and celebratory, so I decided to go for it and we made literally the most unhealthy dessert ever.

And it was so good.

I don’t usually eat sugar-filled, fat-packed, artery-clogging food, but when I do, I don’t mess around ;).

It looks innocuous upon first glance, but these babies are a layered combo of cookie dough, a reese’s cup, and brownie batter.

so freakin delicious

These might have been the highlight of my holiday break (other than seeing Ashley, of course).

As I waited for my blood sugar levels to recover, I read a book, blogged, laid out by the pool, and did some stuff for work. All in all, a great (indulgent) day 🙂

Any fun stories or crazy delicious food?

Guest Post: Kath’s Iced Coffee

Today Kath from The Nut Kase is going to share a great summer recipe with you all. Kath is one of my closest friends from UNC, and also a great healthy blogger! She is currently on an inspiring weight loss journey by eating healthy and running. She recently ran her first 5K ! You should check out her blog to read more about her healthy living, recipes, and workouts.

___________________________________________

Hi Recimplicity readers! My name is Kath from The Nut Kase and I am excited to be writing this guest post while Erin is getting’ her cruise on. Erin and I have been friends since sophomore year in college—we were roommates at UNC. And from then on, she’s been my best roomie-running-workout-church-foodie friend.

Erin and I have very similar loves for healthy food and healthy lifestyles. When she ran her first triathlon last summer, I was SO inspired to get my little butt in gear. During the school year, we would eat lunch together, share recipes and go workout. But one of the things we both agreed on is that when crunch time came around, we were not afraid of caffeine. Normally we are tea drinkers (just check out her tea organization!). Lately I have been on a coffee kick—but who wants hot coffee when it’s 80 degrees outside?!

Thus, almond milk ice cubes were born.

I got a little creative one night in the kitchen and decided there would be nothing better than
homemade iced coffee, with a little twist.

How To Make Iced Coffee with Almond Milk Ice Cubes!

Step 1: Find an ice cube tray, or get a little crafty and use an old egg carton. If it’s paper, be sure to line it with plastic wrap!

Step 2: Fill tray with milk of choice. I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, my fav!

Step 3: Freeze overnight.

Step 4: The next morning, break up the cubes, place in your favorite {mason jar} mug and pour some hot coffee over it!

I added a little Stevia and cinnamon to mine. I love how the cinnamon speckles the coffee with little hints of spice! The ice cubes will melt to chill the coffee and make perfect, creamy iced coffee bliss!

You could also use this technique and fill the tray with fruit and/or juice to flavor your water! YUM!

Have a wonderful day!

Love,

Kath

Guest Post: Lora’s Running Tips

Since I am cruisin’ right now, I am excited to introduce my first guest blogger, Lora from Crazy Running Girl. She was one of my first blogger friends; she was also my first Foodie Pen Pal! She is a marathon runner/lover and is so super fast! It is always inspiring to read about the ridiculously long runs she is able to tackle in the mornings.  She also has “Friday Randomness” posts that are always so funny, and shares stories about her two crazy cats.

I hope you enjoy her post and check out her blog as well 🙂

________________________________________________________

Hi guys! I’m Lora and I blog over at Crazy Running Girl where I talk about running, healthy eating and adventuring in New York City (you can also follow me on Twitter!).

When Erin asked me to be a guest poster when she is away on her amazing cruise (who else is extremely jealous?!), I was like umm, yes! I absolutely love Recimplicity and am so honored to be a guest poster. Thanks, Erin!

I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit race obsessed. I have a hard time seeing a race and not wanting to run it – even if it doesn’t fit into my schedule. But sometimes it’s hard to tell if you are ready to run a race, especially if it’s your first one. Here are five signs that you’re ready to run your first race:

1)     You’ve thought about it… and it doesn’t scare you. If the idea of running a race has crossed your mind at some point, you are definitely ready to run a race!

2)     You’ve gone running recently. If you are thinking about a race, it’s important that you’ve gone running and built up a base. Most people recommend that first-timers choose a shorter distance like a 5K to prevent injuries and make sure they build their bodies up to longer distances. There are some awesome training programs for beginners too – like the Couch to 5k program.

3)     You know that run you did? You actually liked it. When people think about running, they think about the laps they had to do in gym class. Which, who enjoyed doing that? Maybe Kara Goucher. When you run on your own, it’s so different and actually enjoyable. If you feel this way, you are definitely ready to try a race.

4)     You’re ready for an adventure. If you aren’t in love with the idea of running a race for one reason or another, consider an adventure race. What about The Color Run, where they throw powdered color at you so you end up tie-dyed by the end of the race (I just registered for this and can’t wait!)? There are also Zombie Runs, Warrior Dashes and even a Pizza Run in New York City. When I lived in Florida, I even ran for a pie once. It was awesome!

5)     You’re reading this post. Caught you! You are definitely ready to run a race. Don’t let Negative Nancy tell you otherwise! Visit Active.com or one of your local running group websites to see what your options are… and take the plunge! Have you ever heard anyone say “I wish I didn’t do that workout”? No? The same applies for racing.

What are some tips for first-time 5k runners? How did you know you were ready to run your first race?

Weekend Warriors

Instead of heading to the beach, my family decided to use this Memorial day weekend to get some work done on building a new chicken pen.

I started off the day with my favorite three ingredient crepes topped with apple chunks and dried cherries.

I promise there are crepes under all of the toppings…

Then we got to work on the new pen. Perry and one of Claire’s friends came over to help the work go faster. The  pen we currently have is mostly just chicken wire draped around some poles, topped with netting. It is very cumbersome to open and taller people have to crouch down once inside because of the height of the netting.

Perry and my dad teamed up to saw wood pieces

and dig post holes

The chickens were very curious about what was going on outside of their pen

Inside the garage, the girls worked on staining the boards.

At the end of our work day, the pen had not changed much-but a lot of work had been done!

Today we are working on it some more and hopefully will have more visible changes to report 🙂

I’m a Winner :)

Yesterday, CJ at Food Stories nominated me for the Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling!

I love reading CJ’s daily posts with recipes that correspond to random national food holidays. Her blog has tons of great recipes that are low carb while still being delicious! The photos are incredibly crisp and clean, it makes me want to set up a little photography studio in my kitchen 🙂

Per the award requirements I have to share one random fact about myself: I rarely find a food that I don’t like, especially in the dessert category. However I HATE black licorice. This aversion dates back to a sleepover I went to in elementary school during which I won a huge box of Good and Plenty. My mom rarely let us have candy as kids (see my Simply Me page) so I ate the entire box that night. And promptly threw it up. Since then I can’t eat the stuff, even the smell makes me a little queasy.

My five nominees are:

Kath at The Nut Kase

Becca at Becca’s Green Kitchen

Nick at Frugal Feeding 

Jessica at Kitchen Addiction

Stephanie at Modern Christian Woman

Now I am off to take a morning walk with a friend, and then more packing!!

Stop Hunger Now

Today Perry, Claire and my mom volunteered at a Stop Hunger Now event at a local high school. The event was very well organized, and we packed thousands of meal bags in a couple of hours!

Donning our hair nets

the assembly line filling up bags with soy protein, rice, and dehydrated vegetables

Packed boxes ready to be shipped out

Hope you have a great Saturday!