And the award goes to….

MEEEEE!!!

I was nominated again for the Liebster Awards by some fellow awesome blogging friends

Sara @Life Between the Miles
Hailey @Striding Strong
Ali @Hit The Ground Running
Sarah @Running on Healthy

To have been thought of by these four is truly an honor as they are people I’ve come to respect and trust as I’ve grown to know them and their blogs. Make sure you check each one of ’em out!

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While I’m not entirely show what constitutes someone deserving of this award or what it really means, I do know that I have to answer some questions…so here ya go!

1. What is my current health related goal?

I’m really focused on marathon training right now. I have my next one in late February and really, really want to PR and maybe even get a sub 4:30 (that would be the ultimate goal).

With this one, I’m hoping to really nail my fueling. I’ve struggled with fueling during my long runs and previous marathons and think that’s the biggest component I need to focus on. So we’ll see how it goes!

2. What is my biggest irrational fear?

Besides freaking out if something happened to my husband and kids, my irrational fear is similar to Salt’s actually.

I hate the water.

I hate pools, lakes, streams, ponds, oceans and any type of body of water. I refuse to get in them.

I just think of all the unknown that’s involved–germs, animals, creatures, things/people who have been in them that I have no idea who or what they are or where they’ve been. It just majorly grosses me out.

3. Do I enjoy wrapping presents?

I do! I’m old school and actually buy paper and wrap gifts 🙂

4. What’s your favorite cross training activity?

Salt introduced me to Blogilates which are pilate-esque videos on Youtube and I kinda sorta have become obsessed with them. The girl who does the videos, we call her crazy Cassey, is so hardcore. She talks the entire time she doing the moves and I’m barely breathing.

5. If you came to visit me, what would we do?

We’d hike Camelback Mountain!!

You know it's a steep climb when they add a pole to help you up.

You know it’s a steep climb when they add a pole to help you up. So much fun!

6. You have 2 weeks off work and 2 round trip plane tickets to ANYWHERE. Where would you go and who would you take?

Hmmmm…I’m not sure where I’d choose to go but my husband would most definitely be with me. Maybe South America to explore the ruins….

7. What’s the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you during a run or race?

Ummm….well I mentioned awhile back a training run where I passed by a whole bunch of cows (basically a farm) and the smell really made me want to go to the bathroom. And I didn’t have toilet paper. Yeah………

8. What are the 3 best days of your life?

In order in which they occurred in my life:

Graduating from college. I was the first in my family to go to and graduate from college. I honestly never thought I’d be able to go and to have gone and finished in 4 years–it truly is one of my most proudest achievements.

Marrying my husband. If you’ve been a regular reader you may have noticed how obsessed I am with this guy. I seriously scored. ❤

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Having kids. I never really saw or thought of myself as the maternal type but my kids have brought it out in me. I love my little munchkins so much; they truly fulfill my life.

9. You HAVE to eat a fast food meal. What restaurant would you choose and what would you order?

JAJAJAJAJA!!!! I love how this question implies you wouldn’t like having to eat fast food LOL! You guys know I’d choose McDonald’s and I’d order my usual: Quarter Pounder w/Cheese 🙂

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Lately, I’ve been eating my cheeseburgers at In-n-Out though so maybe at this moment I’d choose there.

10. Have you ever met a celebrity?

Yup. I used to work at a high end retail fashion store and would see/meet a few celebs. Rihanna came into our store once.

11. Share a pic of yourself in non-workout clothes.

I shared one in my last post where I got all cleaned up for my husband’s work party so I’ll re-use that one 🙂

All cleaned up

All cleaned up

I love dressing up! I’m a total girl.

12. If you could choose to do a ‘do over’ and switch careers, what would you choose and why?

Nope. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I went to college and was in and out in 4 years. There was no need to think of a major or switch because I didn’t like it. Teaching was made for me.

13. If you won an Olympic Gold Medal how do you think you’d react?

I’d for sure cry. Absolutely, without a doubt.

14. What do you want for Christmas?

I’m going to be a complete cliché and say that I have all that I want. I truly do. Honestly, sometimes I get scared of how truly happy and blessed I am. Like there’s no way my life can be this perfect–something will have to go wrong. (I guess that would be another irrational fear lol!)

15. What skill do you lack?

See Salt’s answer for this question.

(P.S. Can you tell why me and Salt are BRF’s?!?)

I’d love to see answers to these questions from some other blogs I enjoy–

Kristina @Blog About Running
Jeremy @Confessions of an Amateur Athlete
Jennifer @We’re Running a Marathon?

Check out their blogs and tell them Helly sent you over 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend! I have my last race of the year on Sunday–a 1/2 marathon. Anyone else racing or long running?

Pick one of the questions I was asked and answer for fun!

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Holiday Traditions–Cascarones (Confetti Eggs)

A non-running related post today friends

I was chatting with my friend Amy the other day and we were discussing holiday traditions we are trying to continue with our families. I mentioned how when I was little, my grandma would make “cascarones” for our Easter egg hunts. What are “cascarones”? They are hollow eggs filled with confetti. Amy was intrigued and suggested I blog about it and share how to make these confetti eggs with my readers.

As a child, I loved cracking and smashing the eggs when I found them and I always tried to find these eggs rather than the regular, boring, hard-boiled ones. I’m not the most creative person out there, but I knew I wanted to carry out this tradition with my own kids and knew that they’d love them as much as I do did 🙂

This is also a really inexpensive project–a great plus!

Step One:

Tap the top of an egg to create a penny-sized hole. Drain the egg and rinse the inside with water. Let dry.

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I typically start saving eggs about two weeks before I’ll need them. So every time I make pancakes, scrambled eggs, or any recipe that requires an egg I make sure to drain it this way so I can start collecting them. I then store them in an old egg carton until I have my desired amount.

Step Two

Once you have enough eggs and you’re ready to start turning them into confetti eggs, take out the necessary supplies.

1. Eggs
2. Confetti (I used a three-hole puncher and newspaper ads)
3. Glue
4. Tissue paper (I reused saved tissue paper from past gifts)
5. Scissors

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Step Three: 

Decorate the eggs as you like. You can still dye them like you’d normally do to a hardboiled egg. For this post, I just wrote a little something on it 🙂

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Step Four:

Fill the egg with a small amount of confetti (or however much you want).

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Step Five:

Cut the tissue paper into squares large/small enough to cover the egg’s hole. Spread glue around the edge of the hole and place the square on top, pressing so that it sticks.

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Place finished confetti egg in carton to dry and voila! Repeat the steps with each egg until you’re done with all of them. Simple right? And trust me, “cascarones” are definitely kid approved 🙂

My daughter's first confetti egg experience

You can throw them, crack them on someone’s head, or stomp them. Guess which one my daughter chose?

You can throw them or stomp them. Guess which one my daughter chose?

She’s a stomper!

Hope you liked the project! If you don’t celebrate Easter, there are many other festive holidays where you can have fun with confetti eggs 🙂

–What are some holiday traditions you remember as a child?
–Do you carry on any traditions now as an adult?
–Have you heard of/seen “cascarones” before?

Weight Loss Denial

I wrote a couple of months ago how I was able to lose the pregnancy weight after two babies back to back and how I was so happy to be at my pre pre-pregnancy size.

I love clothes and nothing made me happier than finally fitting in to them 🙂

Since that time though, I’ve lost a few more pounds and while some might ask, “Wait, isn’t that a good thing?” it is, but I’m having some trouble accepting it.

I’ve never been below my pre-pregnancy size. High school and earlier not counting, I’ve always been the same size and I worked  out to maintain that comfortable, healthy-for-me number.

But as I’ve been shopping, and I do that a lot, I’ve been noticing that size not fitting like it used to. I’ve chalk it up to design and cut and still buy it because I like it.

On one shopping excursion, my husband was with me. I chose a few things to try and on and he waited for me to come out and model for him. I love getting his opinions and he actually likes going shopping with me (I have a winner!).

He took one look at me and said what I couldn’t for some reason let myself say out loud, “I think you need to try a size smaller.”

“It’s not going to fit.”

“Just try it.”

I’ve never had any major body issues (thankfully) but I also don’t like not fitting into things and I was scared of the possibility of sardine-ing my way into a pair of pants I knew wouldn’t fit me.

Except they did.

I’m not a big scale person but I do weigh myself from time to time and I’m actually a few pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. So while I’m in my normal size of clothing, the number isn’t what it used to be. (Further proof that you shouldn’t live by the scale.)

I bought the new size pants but with the bag of new jeans I carried away a feeling that they would most likely collect dust in my closet.

But why? I know that my fitness plans are not changing. My diet has changed a bit as I’m no longer consuming insane amounts of McDonald’s but that’s not changing either. There’s nothing to say that I won’t continue to maintain my body the way it is now. In fact, with MCM in the fall and Phoenix Marathon early next year, I might even lose a few more pounds and/or tone up a bit more as my training increases.

So why am I in a weight loss denial?

I brought this topic up to my Healthy Moms online board where several moms have also lost weight. A few of them agreed with me that there’s something scary new about losing weight. Will I stay at that weight? Should I invest in new clothing? Will I eventually go back to my old size? The pounds will surely come back, right?

Why is hard for us to accept accomplishment and trust in ourselves to continue and embrace our new lifestyle? Because for me it was never about about dieting. It was is most certainly about changing the way I approach working out and eating right. I wasn’t looking for a number to reach and stopping when I reached it. I started taking running seriously because I wanted to challenge myself with goals I hoped to reach–and then challenging myself by setting new goals. I don’t think any of that is going to change soon.

While I’m learning to accept this new body and embrace, I made  a pretty significant breakthrough yesterday.

I was at a small hotel gym getting some treadmill miles in. It was really hot in there but I figured it had something to do with our 98 degree weather outside. About a mile in, I was sweating profusely and decided heck, no need to suffer, I’m taking my shirt off.

I’ve NEVER ran in just a sports bra. Not even pre pre-pregnancy, not in high school, not because of our scorching summers. Never. But somewhere long the way of losing weight, I’ve gained self-confidence. I could see my body in the multitude of mirrors in the gym and I was perfectly fine with what I saw. No nit-picking, no self-judging, just me running.

In fact, I looked at my two baby body with pride. I’ve worked hard.

I’m working hard.

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–Have you lost weight and felt uncomfortable with the newness?

–What are your thoughts on weight loss denial? Why do you think it’s hard for people to accept weight loss?

Thanks for listening friends. This was a personal piece for me.