Friday, May 31, 2013

Fresh Friday!

Ahh, so many things made this week fresh!  The first full week of summer with my boys, although summer is less fun as an adult since I still have work.  :)

I am still absolutely loving Katherine's Fresh Friday link-up.  With so much stress and negativity throughout the week, I just love taking a few moments to reflect on what made me smile.

My top 3 Fresh, Fabulous, Fun events from the week:

Trying this tasty, TJ's treat.

L "styling" his homemade playdough like one of my pictures for the blog.  I mean, really.  You can't see this and not melt into a puddle.

Bombtastic photos with my BFF!  We may not be 18 anymore but, shoot, we still got it!

How about you?  What made your week FRESH?
Link up here with your 3 things or comment below.  C'mon!  It's fun!

While you are here, make sure to enter to win a gift pack of the new ALT bar!

Got a blog or online shop?  Advertise with me this month for as little as $1.  All proceeds will go the the Red Cross Moore, Oklahoma Relief Effort.  Email me for info:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Donate to Oklahoma

I just love meeting friends in the blogging world.

Over the weekend I made a new friend.
She posted a comment on my post.
Then I went to check out her blog.

Turns out Deanna has a fabulous idea to offer ad space for $1 and that $1 goes to help out in Moore, OK.

So, I am taking that idea to this blog.

For the month of June you can purchase ad space on my blog for any amount.  If you have $1, $5 or any amount to give, that will buy you ad space!  The entire amount will go to the Red Cross Moore, OK Tornado relief fund.  No amount is too small (or too big) so give what you can.

You can donate directly to payphonesandtypewriters [at] gmail [dot] com   at PayPal or use the same address to email me for more information.

Thank you so much for considering a donation to this cause!

ALT Bar by Larabar

A little over a week ago I came home to find a cute little package on my doorstep.

I opened it to find the new ALT bar by Larabar.

Those of you that read this blog know that I LOVE Larabars.  Simple, clean ingredients that taste good and work great as a healthy snack or mini-meal in between teaching classes.  You may also know that I love all things green, especially green protein!
So, to say I was excited to try the new ALT bar is a drastic understatement.  To say that I fell madly in love when I saw that the bars contain protein from peas is, well, quite true.

So, what is an ALT bar?
ALT, in the case of this bar, stands for "Alternate Protein Bar."  It is the first-ever protein added bar from Larabar AND it uses an alternative protein.  Rather than soy or whey the ALT bar has peas.  That's right, the little green guys that grown in the garden.  How amazing is that?!  Research can lead you in 1,000 different ways on soy and whey, but we all know and love our little green peas!

The stats
  • vegan
  • gluten free 
  • dairy free
  • non-GMO
The traditional Larabars contain anywhere from 3g to 7g of protein, depending on the bar.  The new ALT bar contains 10g of protein.  That is great news for someone like myself, who isn't a huge fan of meat but needs lots of protein to keep up energy levels.  I also really LOVE the fact that I can read the ALT wrapper, just like the Larabar wrappers, and see just a handful of ingredients, all that I can pronounce and that I could pick up at the market myself.

Wondering where the Lemon Pound Cake bar is?
I *maybe* ate if before snapping a picture.  Oops.

The flavors

  • Peanut Butter Cookie
  • Cinnamon Apple Crisp
  • Lemon Pound Cake
  • Pumpkin Pie
I enjoyed all four flavors.  They are a little more dense than the original Larabars, but with the same great flavor that satisfies my hunger and sweet tooth.  As usual, Peanut Butter Cookie is my favorite!
The bars were perfect for a breakfast or lunch on the go or for a healthy snack.  FFTH readers know that I recommend keeping healthy snacks with you at all times, and these bars would be a perfect addition to your bag or desk top supply.

Now, for the fun!

Larabar is continuing the generosity and will send one lucky reader the same gift box that I received.  Not only will you get to try the new ALT bar, you will be one of the first people to do so!  Impress your friends with the latest vegan protein bar!

Entering is easy, just leave a blog post comment!  Other entries can be obtained, if you wish, by completing a few easy tasks :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!  If you know me at all then you know I am absolutely dying to say this right now:
Next time you are looking for a healthy protein bar GIVE PEAS A CHANCE!

Please note:  I received the box of ALT Bars as a complete surprise and gift from Larabar.  The idea to review the product and offer a giveaway was purely from my love of the new line of bars.  Receiving the product for free did not in any way effect my opinions and the above post is my 100% honest feelings.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Workout Wednesday - Darren Johnson

Say hello to Darren.  I met Darren on Instagram and love his pictures of running, the Oklahoma plains and his beautiful boys!
You may have noticed that SO many of my Workout Wednesday guests come from Instagram.  This is one of the many reasons I love that social site.  It has helped me to meet some really cool people that, even if we never meet "IRL" we share a hello, a well wish, and moments of our day that would otherwise be unknown if it weren't for this photo sharing site.

Name:  Darren Johnson
Age: 38
Location:  OKC
Occupation:  GIS Analyst
Fun Stuff:  Photography, Running, and Family Time
Instagram: @darrenisreal

How long have you been running? 
Ever since 9th grade I believe, which is over 20 years.  There have been a few years in there where I did not run or do much of anything.  Saw the scale numbers getting bigger and knew I had to get back to it.  I remember trying to make the 9th grade soccer team and I didn’t make it.  At that point I had never not made a soccer team so I was sort of lost as to what to do.  I decided to give cross-country a try since it was going on the same time as soccer and of course, you can’t get cut from a cross-country team, right? 

What is your favorite part of going out for a run?
Today I just enjoy the solitude and time to myself.  Back in high school and college it was very competitive and, while I enjoyed running, I never took it all in as I do today.  Most of my runs now I leave the watch behind and just enjoy each run.  Conversation pace is what I enjoy nowadays. 

What is your typical mileage each week?  Do you goal yourself for mileage, time, days ran?
Right now I am in the buildup phase and increasing my weekly mileage by no more than 10%.  So, for this week my target is 22 miles.  If there is one thing 20 years of running  has finally taught me it’s that the body does not recover like it used to.  I have tried to do too much too soon and it always lead to injuries.  This 10% increase has been working well so far so we’ll see how it goes a year from now.  The ultimate goal is to train up for the entire year and run another marathon.

Do you run with or without music?
I prefer to run without music or anything except for a watch sometimes.  There are a couple days out of the year I am forced to run on a treadmill, then I will put the headphones on just to help keep me in a zone.  Treadmills are not a favorite piece of equipment of mine that man has invented.  And the not listening to music is mainly because that’s how I started running back in the day.  I find the wires bouncing around a distraction.

Have you suffered any injuries because of running?  How did you heal/overcome the injury?
Oh plenty of injuries, especially now with age.  Last year, in leading up to the marathon, I had bad plantar fasciitis in my left foot and some swelling in my right forefoot.  It got so bad that when rest did not help I finally saw a local doctor who specializes in running.  He checked my foot and MRI and formed up inserts for my shoe.  He even took my laces off my shoes and redid the pattern in a way that would relieve pressure in certain areas.  He told me I could start running the next day.  I was very skeptical and nervous, but it worked like a charm.  He also mentioned that I really needed to stretch my calves more and that they are basically the gateway to a lot of foot problems.  So before and after every run now I make sure to stretch them.
Back in college after cross-country season during the transition to the track I would always get shin splints.  Nothing really you can do about them.  The trainers used to tape them up, but it never really did much.   Today I have a little bit of discomfort in my hip flexor, but as long as I stretch properly (which I have not been doing) it will work itself out. 

Trail, track or road?
I prefer trail runs out in the woods but rarely get a chance to anymore.  Most of my runs are on the pavement.  There is a lake near us with an out and back trail of 14 miles and it’s pure bliss.  Lots of rolling hills through the trees and many times there are deer out and about.

Do you do local races, such as 5K, 10K, half or full marathons?
    Details on a specific race event that you want to share?
I do occasionally run a local race, mainly half and full marathons now though.  I do plan on doing more 5K and 10K’s leading up to this next marathon just to have some fun and get my son involved. 

Do you prefer to run alone or with a buddy(buddies)?
Generally my runs are solo but it is nice once in awhile to have some company.  Miss the days of college when we would head out on long runs and challenge each other on the track. 

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to staying motivated?
Most of the time it comes from being tired.  I find that when my body and mind are worn down it’s really hard to get motivated to get started.  And there is definitely a period after a marathon where it’s difficult to stay focused and look forward to running again.

How do you juggle your career, family life and running?
With a newborn baby it is very difficult.  The best way for me is to bring my lunch to work and run during my lunch hour, and on the weekends hope I can get a long run in. 

Do you do any other sort of exercise?  Weights, yoga, Pilates, etc.
I do like to ride my road bike in the warmer months of the year.  Gives me a chance to see the back roads and country views in Oklahoma.  I do like to play sports such as softball and basketball but as far as training goes the weight lifting and yoga I have yet to embrace.  I keep telling myself yoga would be perfect to help with my body as I get older, but finding the time is hard.

Favorite source of pre-run fuel?
Peanut Butter on wheat toast.  Nothing better.

What shoe do you run in and why?
For the longest time I was a Nike lover.  But a couple years ago I tried a pair of Brooks Ghost and then their Pure Cadence and I have been running in them every since.  I switch off the two pair now mainly using the Ghost for longer runs.

Do you follow a strict nutrition program?  If so, what?  
What is nutrition?  Just kidding, I have not learned to eat healthy or correctly and sooner or later it is going to catch up with me.  You’d think as many miles as I’ve put into this body I would learn to fuel it right.

Favorite treat?
This will show you how bad my nutritional program is, but I absolutely love Peanut Butter and Chocolate ice cream from Baskin Robins.  There any many imitations out there with peanut butter cups from other places, but Baskin Robins has it nailed.  I will go out of my way to get a scoop in a cake cone. 

Please provide a sample run workout that you do: 
My favorite workout after my buildup phase and transition to speed workouts is 400 repeats.  Simple but they are so effective.  I normally warm up with a 10 minute jog.  In between in each repeat I rest the same amount of time I run each quarter in.  Each week I increase the number of intervals by one and will normally make this my Wednesday workout.  My main focus is not so much speed but pace and make sure that each quarter is run at a pace just below my intended race pace. 

Thank you SO much, Darren, for sharing about your running and for sharing your amazing photography!  Make sure your check out Darren's website and his Instagram!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Vocal Chords are Fine

I have been on the verge of losing my voice for over a month now.
15 days of steroids didn't help.  Which, it turns out, is quite a long time to be on steroids.  My primary care doctor and my Ear, Nose & Throat doctor both said that was a long run.  Thanks, Urgent Care doctor.
Anyway, since I have sounded pretty scruffy lately my pc doctor said I should see and ENT.  And, yes, I do have an ENT of my very own, thanks to the lovely tubes in my ears.
So, I went to see him today to find out if I have nodules on my vocal chords.
Yeesh.  I thought today would be just a chat and then we would schedule something.
He sprayed this lovely tasting stuff up my nose, it drained down my throat, and 10 minutes later he was sticking a tube, about the size of a straw, but maybe 2 feet long, up my nose and down my throat.
Good times.
At one point he asked me to sit back up.  I hadn't realized it but I was slowly inching back, like you would do if someone was "in your bubble."
It wasn't a horrible experience, but I wouldn't recommend it just for fun.
The worst part is that, for the last 2 hours, my throat has felt like it's full of glass shards.  I am guessing from the numbing stuff and the scope.
But, he said my vocal chords look great, minus the drainage and tonsil irritation from allergies.
So, it's allergies as the culprit yet again.
But, it is good to know that they are fine.   Using my voice is a big part of my job and this experience has taught me that I need to take care of my vocal chords and maybe try resting my voice more.  If you know JF IRL please help me console him :)

Can I just move into a bubble dome already?  

Have you ever had your vocal chords looked at?

Have you had a surprise medical procedure?

Grilled Soup

When the weather is even remotely warm JF loves to fire up the grill and make a meal.  Or two.
I love food from the grill and we almost always end up with leftovers.
One of my favorite things to make is soup containing our leftovers.

The ingredients that you use will vary based on what you have, but this will give you a basic recipe to follow.

1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet.
2. Add diced onion and garlic and saute until transluscent.
3. Add a few handfuls of spinach or kale (for health's sake) and stir until shrunk.

4. Add 2 cups of chicken broth to clean up the pan.

Now for the fun part.

Take whatever meat and veggies you have left and chop them up.  Add them to the pot.
I have even been known to add leftover baked beans, a spoonful of relish, whatever we have left.  Grilled squash, diced baked potato's all fair game!
Cover and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes, but the longer it goes the more the flavors will get to know each other :)
This would also be great to toss into a slow cooker in the morning.  I don't know about you, but Monday morning after a great, outdoor fun Sunday, is hard.  This way you will have dinner ready after your long Monday!

I added roasted brussels sprouts to this batch.  So good.

I want to know!  If you use this recipe, let me know what ingredients from your grill that you used!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Sunday Social

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
How are you spending yours?

Today the Sunday Social questions are all about summer fun!

Sunday Social

1.  What is your best summer memory as a kid?
Wow.  I could think of so many.  But, since it is Memorial Day Weekend, I will go with my best memory of that holiday.  I was around 12 years old and we spent the weekend at "the country" which is what we called my great aunt and uncle's home about 1 hour west of St. Louis.
The day was spent playing with my cousins, brand new country kittens, lounging in a hammock, eating great food, playing wiffle ball, walking through the woods to an empty creek bed.  I tried home grown strawberries for the first time.  Once the sun had gone down we played Scattergories.  The day seemed to last forever, and even looking back it is hard to imagine that we did so much in one day!  Nearly everyone I loved in my world at that time was there and it was magical.

2.  What is your favorite summer drink?
I really am a water girl, so when I think of summer I think of a giant insulated bottle of water.  In order to not seem too boring I will also say that I enjoy fresh brewed, unsweetened iced tea.

3.  What is your favorite summer TV show?
We don't have cable and I am rarely home long enough to watch TV.  But Wipeout is a summer show, isn't it?  We LOVE that show in my house!  I always say that I am going to try out for it.  I have fairly decent balance and am pretty quick, and it seems like those two things would come in handy.  

4.  What is the best outdoor summer activity?
What isn't?  I love to go swimming, go to baseball games, running in the evening as the sun goes down.  I am NOT a fan of camping, so as you can see, all of my summer activities get me home in time to sleep in my air conditioned home :)

5.  What are your summer vacation essentials?
Comfy sundresses, cute sandals, and a great pair of sunglasses.

I want to know about you!  Leave comments below or join the link-up here.  If you join the link-up let me know below so I can go check out your post!

Hooray!  We made it to summer!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fresh Friday May 24, 2013

Super sunny Friday.  I love it!
I have had 2 new students on the Pilates equipment this week and 3 for mat.  It is SO fun to meet new people and watch them (hopefully) fall in love with Pilates like me.
I was also asked to do a presentation for a local nursing school to discuss the benefits of yoga and Pilates for various patients that they will see.  SO exciting.  I also love sharing the why's and how's of fitness.

Time for Fresh Friday.  Although I really can't believe that it is already Friday and time to reflect on the fun, fresh, fantastic and funny (see #3) week!

+ I have a new addition in my car.  We call him "Guy" and Levi made him all on his own.  So creative, right?  Although, I have to admit, the ball cap on my head rest has startled me a few times when I go to look out the back window.  "Guy" now has a blade of grass sticking out of his mouth area.  Country guy!

+ Two boys that love to snuggle.  So much so that I sometimes have to ask them to not snuggle, like when I am drinking my (hot) morning coffee or trying to eat.  But I love that they love to cuddle and can't imagine not holding hands of waking up to one of them in my bed.  Or both.

+ My craft failure.  It still got gifted because the kids worked on it and I, of course, waited to the last minute so there was no other option.  But.  You tell me.  The great idea to have each child do a finger print to represent the teacher being #1...the fingers look more like, umm, a certain male body part, eh?  E is going to have the same teacher next year so I need to start planning her Christmas gift now.  What kind of gift says "Sorry your end of the year project should be titled Gold Member"?

So, what made your week fresh and fun?  Link up with Katherine here or leave me your comments below.

Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend.
Tomorrow I am running a 5K right by my house and then we have an afternoon wedding to go to.
Sunday we will be meeting our maybe puppy, a corgi/blue heeler mix.
Monday.  Is up for grabs!
How about you?

Scale or Size

I admit it.  I am a slave to my scale.  The number I see when I step on every morning (or evening) can dictate how I feel about myself.  I know it is silly.  There is SO much more to being healthy than a specific number on a scale, but it is just habit.

I was listening to a radio program yesterday and they were encouraging listeners to NOT use their scales at all when trying to diet/change their bodies. Instead, go by dress sizes, goaling to lose 2 dress sizes in 3 months, for example.

I am about 6 pounds heavier than I was a year ago and my diet and exercise have not changed that much.  All of my clothes still fit, though.  I even tried on my summer shorts and swimming suits and, despite a little extra tummy flab, I feel like I look about the same.

So, for the next month I am going to try to not weigh myself.  To measure inches and go by how my clothes feel.

Interested in taking your measurements?  Here are some major areas to measure and guidelines:

Waist:  look in the mirror and measure the smallest part of your torso.
Tummy:  even with your belly button.
Waist:  the thickest part of your lower torso/pelvis.  Yo' money maker ;)
Thighs: the halfway point between your hip bone and knee.
Arm:  the halfway point between the top of your shoulder and elbow.

Take measurements no more than once a month.  It can be just as frustrating as weighing yourself if you take inches everyday or every week.  BUT measuring my inches is so encouraging for me when I am feeling like I am not doing so great.
Make sure you write it down.  You may think you will remember, but you won't.
Every 1/4 inch counts, don't round up or down.

How about you?

Are you a slave to the scale?
Do you even care how much you weigh or do you also go with how you feel?
How much do you think I weigh?  J/K.  But seriously...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Running Tribute

Any given weekend in any given city you can find a handful of 5K events to honor or support individuals and groups. 

The popularity of these events has increased dramatically in the last 10 years and it is a wonderful way to make a tribute to someone you love.

I choose to remember and honor those I love each and every time I am out for a run, needing motivation when I want to quit.
When I am out for a run I typically feel energized, refreshed, exhausted, happy, feelings are just as hilly as the courses I run.  It is during those moments when I want to give up that I make "running tributes" to those that I love.

When my legs feel tired...
I think of my mom, whose knees have taken her so many places throughout her life that they are giving out.  I think of my husbands grandma, the only grandma I have on earth, and how her hips have slowed her down but not stopped her.

When I get winded at the top of a hill...
I remember my sweet cousin, whose lungs gave out due to Cystic Fibrosis long before her spirit did.

When my heart is pounding after a sprint...
I remember my uncle, grandfather, grandma, great aunt and, sadly, so many other family members that had hearts that stopped beating before any of us were ready for them to go.

As I prepare to do a Memorial Day 5K this weekend, the registration information says to run in honor of a lost loved one. Officially I have chosen to run for my 15 year old cousin, but in my heart I run for every single person I love.  Each and every time I go out for a run I take a moment to remember, to love and to smile.

Who do you run for?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Two Exercises You Can Do At Work!

Sitting at a desk all day isn't always fun and it definitely isn't ideal for your body.  Today I am sharing two exercises that will help with flexibility, core and arm strength and get you breathing deeply for a mid-day pick-me-up that doesn't include eating.  It's amazing what a few deep breaths and stretches can do!

Seated Spine Stretch Forward
This classical mat Pilates exercise moves well to seated in a chair.

  • Sit at the edge of your chair, shoulders over hips, arms forward like they are resting on a table top.
  • Inhale.

  • As you exhale, bow your head forward and slide your arms along the imaginary table top, lifting your ribs away from your legs.
  • As you inhale sit tall, stacking the spine.
Repeat 5 times.

Chest Expansion
Open your chest to relieve stress, stretch tight muscles and sit taller.

  • Sit on the edge of your chair, with your arms at your side and inhale.
  • As you exhale take your arms behind you like you are hugging a tree trunk behind your back.
  • Keep your chest and middle lifted and your gaze forward and up slightly.
  • Take 3-5 deep breaths holding this stretch.

These two are great mid-day or anytime you need a brain break.

I hope you are having a good Monday.  Stay tuned for a yummy giveaway later this week plus a new friend for Workout Wednesday and me, in a disposable bikini!  Good times on the way :)  

What are your plans for the week ahead?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Social May 19th

Wow!  I can't believe we are already in mid-May.  I need to go get a poster board and get started on our Summer To-Do list ASAP!

On to Sunday Social.  I just love this link-up because it allows you, the reader, to get to know me and for me to get to know you.  That is, if you leave me comments.  So, please...leave me comments with your answers! (sticks bottom lip out and makes puppy eyes.)

1. What is your favorite kind of surprise?
I love all good/happy surprises!  Even the not so fun surprise moments, like a friend with a flat tire that needs a ride, are great in my book.  It is the unexpected that makes life what it is.  As long as everyone ends up healthy and safe, bring on the surprises!

2.  Flowers or chocolate?
Chocolate for sure!  I know neither one lasts very long, and yes, flowers are beautiful, but I just love a good sweet treat.

3.  What is your favorite summertime activity?
Going swimming!  It is so fun to get a little (sunscreened) sun, splash around and cool off, and then head home tired and ready to lounge on the couch and watch a movie.  I also feel like pizza after is a must :)

4.  Do you have any vacations planned this summer?
Not yet!  We will hopefully be going out of town for a baseball tournament and maybe a small road trip, somewhere that is around 4 hours away from KC.

5.  Favorite summer holiday?
The 4th of July!  It is one of THE best days!  Warm weather, great food, lots of time with family and friends.  And daylight until 9 pm.  Followed with fireworks.  Always a fun time.
I love fireworks faces.

Patriotic selfie.

6.  What is your dream vacation?
Hawaii.  I went when I was a teenager and would love to go back now with JF and the boys.

Your turn.  Tell me all about YOU in the comments below or link up with Ashley and Neely.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, May 17, 2013


I heart Friday!
I especially heart this Friday because we have a baseball game tonight.  I just love watching my boys play the sports that they love, chatting with the moms (and dads) and it is still early enough in the season that the weather and umpires are nice :)

Time for the 3 things that made my week F R E S H

The Real Food Runner

Taking the time to savor each every minute.  I tend to always be focused on what's next, what the future holds and then I miss what is right in front of me.  And right now, what is right in front of me is pretty magical.  Beautiful boys, a loving husband and family, sharing Pilates with everyone I know and enjoying what some refer to as the "best decade."

Mint toes and J Crew dresses.  Okay, just one J Crew dress, for now.  But it is so comfy and perfect you will either be seeing me in it every single day this summer or I will go out and buy one (or five) more.

My Playground Workout post.  I know, this seems like a shameless plug, but I have been planning this post in my head officially for about a year, unofficially since I have been taking babies to the park.  Which is *yikes* nearly ten years! I am super happy that I finally got it posted and just want to shout it out loud!  If you are looking for a fun way to spend time with your littles or if you don't have kids but want a great workout, check it out! 

Okay.  Time to go.  I HAVE to get on the Reformer today.  I can't remember the last time I went through the work and my body needs it.

Have a great weekend and PLEASE share with me what made your week unbelievable and happy, okay?  Comment below or...

Link up here and go say hi to Kat.  Don't you just love the idea of taking a moment on Friday to think about what made the week great?  I know I do.  

exes and ohs <3

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Studio Style - From workout to out on the town

Okay, so you just finished a great workout in your yoga capris and tank.  How do you go from working out to meeting friends for lunch?  It just takes a little planning ahead and not much packing.  Sandals and a fun tunic make for a quick change that will have you feeling and looking your best.  Yoga capris dress up very nicely and swapping sneakers for sandals completes the look.

Tunic: Macy's;  Capris:  Reebok;  Sandals:  Enzo Angiolini;  Sunglasses:  Banana Republic