Not only was I able to start today with a quick two mile run and make a delicious breakfast before work, but here are some other reasons why this Tuesday was TERRIFIC...


It may have been windy and cold as heck outside, but with some new lipstick I felt all rosy and warm.


Every girl needs a little indulgence to get through the workday and these little cuties are the perfect pick me up.  I rationalize this with peanut butter being a protein source and the dark chocolate being full of rich antioxidants.  Yes,  I know this is quite silly, but I guarantee once you try these you'll be saying the same thing.  Available at a Target near you.


I got a fancy new floral journal to start doodling all my thoughts, prayers, etc. in.  I am sure you think I share enough on here, but honestly you have no idea how many thoughts are swimming around in my head.  And yes, I took this picture in my car on my steering wheel during my lunch break and those are super cute argyle tights.

I hope your Tuesday was terrific in some form or fashion.  After all, the best thing about all Tuesdays is that they are not Mondays.  Happy Fall Ya'll!

XOXO,

Alaina


I know I have been absent from here for a little bit and I apologize but here's what I've been working on.  Among all the recipes and work topsy turvy-ness I've been working on these beautiful topiary pieces.  They are the first step to transforming my living room into an eclectic retreat.  I will be furniture shopping next week, but these are the perfect start to changing the look.  



I have seen topiary pieces in every expensive design magazine for years, but they are always so pricey.  After a trip to Hobby Lobby and a little help from these tutorials I was able to add that Parisian element to my space that I've been looking for. 

Ballard Design Topiary Display
Check out these links below for a step by step walk through to create your own masterpiece.

Easy to Follow Tutorial

Single Topiary Tutorial


I am always looking for more high protein filling breakfast options and these burritos definitely fit the bill.  The best part is that they can be froze and the recipe can be modified to suit just a few or a crowd.  If freezing these burritos you may want to double the recipe.  


Here's what you'll need:
8-10 Large Eggs, scrambled
5-6 Large Tortillas ( I used these spinach wraps)
1/2 cup Cheese of Choice, grated
1/2 cup Green Pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup Onion, finely chopped
8 oz Sausage ( I used chicken sausage to cut out fat)


First, saute the pepper and onion until soft.  If using fatty pork sausage you will want to cook separately and blot the excess grease with paper towels.  If using chicken sausage like I am then cut each sausage in half lengthwise then slice into thin half moon shapes.  Add to pan and turn heat to medium to ensure that the sausage browns and gets color on the edges, keeping in mind that the sausage is already fully cooked so you are just browning it.


Next, add the eggs to the pan with the sausage, onion, and pepper.  Cook on low working the edges into the center with a rubber spatula.  DO NOT rush the eggs, this will result in rubber textured eggs. It will take a little longer but will be worth it, I promise.


While the egg mixture is slowly cooking you can go ahead and grate the cheese.  I used jack cheese because it gets really melty, but you can use whatever type you like. 

Once the egg mixture is set remove from heat.  Remember we want the eggs to be cooked through, but not brown and dry.


Now it's time to assemble the burritos.  Divide the mixture into 5-6 portions depending on how many eggs you added and portion onto the tortilla.  Next, sprinkle with cheese and top with your favorite salsa.  I used a combination of salsa verde and hot mexican sauce.  Roll up like a burrito and you're done.  Serve immediately or freeze to serve later.

*If freezing wrap each burrito in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe bag.  To reheat remove plastic and wrap with damp paper towel then microwave for 1-1/2 minutes until warmed through.



These "pancakes" are most certainly Pinterest inspired and they turned out simply delicious.  They are basically a sweet red apple slice battered in yummy pancake batter.  

This is what you'll need:
Favorite Buttermilk Pancake mix (you could make your own)
Water or Milk for pancake mix
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
2-3 Medium sweet red apples (I used Sonya)
Makes: 18-20 pancakes

Start by slicing the apples thin enough to batter but thick enough to stand up to cooking, about 1/4 inch thick.  Depending on how large your apples are you may need more or less than 2, but you can always slice more as the batter gets used.  You can core the slices if you choose, but at the very least make sure you pop out the seeds.
Next, you will want to place the stack of apples on a microwave safe dish and microwave for a minute and a half.  This step ensures that the apple will not be completely raw in the middle of the batter.  While the apples are microwaving start to mix your batter.  I am usually not a fan of the prepackaged mix, but this one is really tasty and I needed to use up the last of the box.  Be sure to spike the pancake batter with cinnamon while mixing.  I also like to slightly thin the batter with additional almond milk so that the apples do not get too gooey but have a thin layer of batter instead.
Once you have mixed your batter and microwaved your apples, dip an apple slice in the batter then place on a griddle or skillet.  I chose to add the tiniest bit of butter to my skillet, but you could of course use cooking spray.  Make sure your pan is on medium to medium low heat.  You will know when the skillet is the right temperature because the batter will start to bubble up around the edge and puff like the picture above.
Cook each side until golden brown and then ENJOY.  These little cuties are so sweet you won't even need syrup.


It becomes fall more and more with each day that passes.  It becomes colder, the leaves seem to darken, and the days seem darker.  The weather has been beautifully perfect but I am quite ready for daylight savings time next month.  As a girl hair and nails are important to me and probably to you as well.  Beauty is only skin deep, but feeling great and confident about yourself makes everyday a little bit more enjoyable.

For those of you that know me know I haven't always been a redhead, but for those of you that don't you would never have guessed.  I thought I would share some shades of auburn that I am particularly obsessed with this fall season.  If you are thinking about trying something new, go red.  After all, you know what the Kardashian girls said on an episode of their show about redheads ;) 


These two shades above are quite similar and are clearly on the ginger side of the auburn color wheel.  There is more copper and orange within this mix, but the combination of the shade results in a very autumn richness.

This would be a safe shade for someone who is already a naturally dark shade.  The only caution would be to ensure that the richness doesn't border on purple ish undertones.

If you are nervous about trying this at home, then go talk to your stylist or colorist.  He/she will be able to help you find a shade that compliments your skin tone and is something you can be comfortable with, but I imagine you'll love being a ginger.  As the saying goes, more class than a blonde and spicier than a brunette.

I am also obsessed with Essie nail polish and after owning it have become a bit of a snob.  I really don't like to buy anything else.  For me, it wears better and the color stays richer longer.  Depending on how long my nails are I am even sometimes able to get about 10-14 days wear out of it with only a little refresh from a top coat.  
Here are some of my favorite shades for fall that are already in my polish box:


From Left to Right:  Sexy Divide, Merino Cool, Gym Dandy, and Armed and Ready

These shades are beautiful and perfectly autumn and as far as I'm concerned anything with a hint of purple or taupe has to be a more fun solution than the boring everyday shade of nude.  Of course you can order these online but I was able to pick them up at my local Target.  Getting a mani/pedi is great, but paying $7 for a polish you love and doing it yourself over and over now that's money well spent.

Here's to the most gingery shade of auburn and the most delightful alternative to nude colored polish.  A girl with cache in her walk whether in sneakers or in heels is a happy one.  Here's to loving yourself and feeling confident and well put together.  Enjoy your new hair and nails and remember that a smile is truly the best accessory. 




Typical, typical Tuesday.  I woke up early, threw on my running shoes and walked the pup, hit the treadmill for 4 miles, then made a delicious pancake breakfast all before 9 am and heading to work.  What a perfect start to the morning!  Today I thought I would rock the perfect fall outfit and when I arrived at work my wonderful co-worker told me I looked like October.  So here I am in the new boots and dress I blogged about yesterday looking just like Ms. October.


Dress: Forever 21 *sale* similar dress
Belt: Vintage similar belt
Boots: BCBGeneration @ ROSS similar boot


Sorry for the pitiful crop job and yes, I do wish my dog knew how to operate a camera or android.  Happy October!


Today was just another manic Monday so I thought I would start by addressing ways to manage stress.  Stress is something that everyone can be plagued with and everyone deals with it differently.  If you are not able to successfully manage stress it can eat you alive.


So, here's to Mondays that are crazy when you can't catch your breath and relaxing in whatever works best for you.  As for me I think I will enjoy a little Adam Levine on NBC's The Voice and maybe take a long bath.  

Goodnight!

Love,

Alaina


Happy Fall Ya'll!  The air is crisp and cool and the leaves are starting to change to the perfect shade of yellow, orange, and red.  I put my fall wreath out a little while ago and now it's time for turkey chili, warm blankets, and celebration before old man winter comes to town.

Well, I did miss a few days but frankly nothing revolutionary happened yesterday or Friday.  More chaos at work...blah, blah, blah.  I did do a little shopping yesterday though, in fact I actually went to the mall.  I somehow forgot that Saturdays around here might as well be the day after Christmas or Black Friday.  It was a mad house, but I am so glad I went.  I picked up a few tops and got a super cute pair of brown suede wedge knee high boots.  I have been looking for more fall essentials ever since I unpacked all my cold weather clothes.  Not only does nothing fit because of the weight loss earlier this year, but I am not quite sure if my wardrobe even made the transition from college.  Since my calves are now thinner I have been in search for the knee high boot.  I wanted something that would work with dresses, legging, jeggings, and skinny jeans of course.  Definitely a riding boot, but something not quite as traditional as the cognac, buckle, typical strap.  That's when I found on Etsy the most beautiful pair of oxblood equestrian vintage boots.
Drum roll, please.
I can not wait to get these beauties in the mail and start wearing them.  What's not to love?!  The rich color, vintage feel, traditional laces...yep, perfect.  Not only are they one of a kind sorta beautiful, they're vintage and you know how I feel about that.  Now if only my sister would move to Atlanta and dress me from head to toe everyday.

I'm not a superficial person at all, but there is something to be said for feeling good about yourself and confident because of what you are wearing.  I may not have a super busy social life compared to some, but hey I do start singles gathering tonight so why not?!

This morning I was up before the sun and it actually felt pretty good for a change.  The past few days I have been so tired I have just wanted to lay in bed but this morning was different.  I think Chloe Mae has a heightened sense of the cool weather and was up and ready to go this morning, unlike most when I have to tell her to get up and out of bed.  To the left you can see she is ready for a walk and that is exactly what we did.  I would normal take her with me to the park to run, but not today.  I have been a bit behind on my half marathon training so I opted to walk her then drive to the park for a long run so I could run a little faster and a little farther.  She is a pit bull and quite the athlete of course, but with her having Addison's disease I think it slows her down a bit.  Also, let's not forget that she is a beefcake so after about mile 3 it is a struggle to get her to keep up.  I ran a little over 4 miles today and it felt good.  So good that it was painful, so I decided to take a lavender Epsom salt bath when I came home, heated up some homemade chicken pot pie from the freezer, then took a little cat nap.  I just whipped up some sweet chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars to take to the singles gathering tonight.  I will let you know how they turn out.  I hope they are edible at least since I am trying someone else's recipe.

So here's to fall and beautiful weather, warm hearts and warm blankets, and perfect morning runs.  Enjoy the weather and the season while you can and never forget who made the stars and the moon.

Love,

Alaina


Work was not any different today than it has been any other day this week, but tonight was wonderful.  Thursdays are a day I look forward to because it's close to the weekend yes but it is also time I get to spend with my small group.  Tonight we opted to skip on a session and attend night of worship at our church instead.

I am always talking about how GOD gives you what you need when you need it and tonight was nothing short of that.  In the midst of everything that has happened since I have moved to Atlanta GOD has always been there and tonight I became even more in awe of that fact.

Tonight we praised Him for all that He is and then came communion.  The message before the Lord's Supper was about the personal significance of the act.  Communion is not about church or something you do there but is about the relationship you have with Christ and when you first accepted Him.  I don't know if I truly remember the exact place and time that I accepted Christ into my heart and life because He has always been there.  I can not recall any moment when I wasn't sure that He was there. There were of course the "lost years", but even then I knew He was there I just chose to not acknowledge Him.  What a beautiful and perfect thing?!  Even when I failed to give Him the glory He deserved He never left me and was always there even when I had forgotten about Him completely.

As I took communion for the first time since I have left Tennessee and said my prayer I thought about how different my life looks.  I thought about that young firecracker of a girl in a teeny Methodist church with bowed knees on the chancel rail.  I thought about the people, the organ, the prayer, and of course all the memorization that was said and stated...I believe in GOD the father almighty maker of heaven and heart...son was crucified, died and was buried.  All of it just started to mumble in my head and I thought about how lucky I am that GOD was always there, never left me, and was close to me in the small Methodist church in Dover, Tennessee from the very beginning.

When I opened my eyes and realized I was in a massive auditorium in Buckhead with tons of people I had never met, then it occurred to me that I am exactly where GOD wants me to be.  I sing old hymns around my house frequently and to me they have the same affect as quoting scripture.  Here is the one I have been singing all night.  Enjoy!


Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Love,

Alaina


Today before work I decided to do some interval training and this is what I decided on.  This workout was designed by my sister, but I have tweaked it for my liking and ability.  This is the perfect treadmill workout to set yourself up for success because it is quick and everything is done in short bouts so you won't get bored.  It will also whip you into shape, so be warned.


Here is how it shakes out:

Warm up for a few minutes

5 minutes at a level a little slower than your normal pace (for me this is a jog at a 4.3)
1 minute at a 5
1 minute at a 6
1 minute at a 7
1 minute at a 6
1 minute at a 5

*repeat 2-3 times

The best part of this is that you can tailor it to what will challenge you then after your legs will feel like jelly.  I'm a big fan of this routine because it is an easy way to be exhausted and really push yourself in a 20 minute run.  After the interval training I decided to do a little yoga progression and it was relaxing to stretch after all that running.  

Then, I got really ambitious and decided to bake up some of my favorite banana muffins.  These little babies are awesome because you mix them in a food processor, they are gluten free, and you don't have to add any extra sugar.  Here is the recipe that will become a favorite of yours too, Banana Oatmeal Muffins

wonderful start to wonderful wednesday
The only thing I have changed about this recipe is that I like to add 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed, 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds to the batter, and 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts.  I like all the nutty-ness that this adds and it makes them more like banana bread.  You'll love them!  The best part is that you can freeze them and pull them out one at a time.  If you are taking them to work there is no need to defrost, they will thaw in a few hours for the perfect snack.  Based on what I used there are about 130 calories in one muffin...perfect.

Work was blah today but that is okay because I have so much to look forward to these next few days.  Worship night at church tomorrow, lots of half marathon training this weekend, and then singles gathering on Sunday at church.  Woohoo! 

Goodnight and best wishes!


As I mentioned in my last post yesterday was pretty awful, but the best part about today is that it is not Monday.  This morning I woke to swollen eyes.  Yes, battle of the pots is over and I am happy to say that I have closure and my beautiful grill pan back at home with me.  I don't think I was so upset over the way that things ended between me and said gentleman as much as I was disappointed that my pattern seemed to repeat.  I didn't see the signs early on and that made things difficult in the end.  In my personal experience this usually means trying to date men that are emotionally unavailable.  I'm not desperate to be in a relationship, but if I meet the right person I want to make every effort to ensure that I know them well enough to determine if it is worth the effort.  People are not disposable and I believe that each person you meet in life is placed in your path at that moment for a reason.  Every experience whether positive or negative brings to light another aspect of your life and GOD uses these people to help you work closer to Him.

Last night I got to thinking while I was all weepy in my bed how great our GOD is.  We serve a living GOD who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  I mean really how amazing is that?!  Not only are we able to talk to Jesus like a best friend but He knew us before He made us and wants to show us which way to take.  So this morning as I woke up with this feeling I was forced to remember something I had heard from a mentor in college.  She always said, "I wish more men were like my Jesus."  That's all folks.


After I took my dog to the vet this morning and before work I made a cup of tea and did a little yoga progression.  The phrase "namaste" is commonly used as a greeting but really means "I see you"  not in the physical sense but also in the spiritual and emotional sense as well.  The yogis always say that prayer is for talking but meditation is for listening.  What a profound statement, in the silence is when we are able to listen to GOD and His wishes for us.  So this morning that's what I did...listened.

I need a good Christian man with focus, a relationship with Christ, and the rest GOD will work out for me.  I wish more men were like my Jesus.

Love,

Alaina


unsweetened chamomile tea aka perfect start
broiled grapefruit with pinch of brown sugar
Mondays are usually awful, but this Monday has seemed to be particularly troublesome.  I somehow managed to rear end an older lady on a road I drive everyday to work while talking to my mother on the phone who just recently returned from Australia, there is way more uncertainty at work, I've been fighting battle of the pots (I will explain), and its like 50 degrees outside.   However, my morning at home before I left for work was completely perfect!

buttermilk pancakes, chicken sausage, and maple syrup
Not only did I have a delicious breakfast at home, but I was able to actually sit and enjoy it without rushing to get ready for work.  I was also able to do a little yoga this morning as well.  Since today was my rest day (see day 1) I thought why not do something different and its relaxing to boot.  Little did I know how much I would need it later on in the day.  Yoga is so soothing and calming because you are regulating your breathing the whole time and no woman who has ever practiced yoga complains about bulky muscle.  Win, win.  Try these exercises for a nice quick progression for every level of practice.  Namaste!

I drive the same route everyday to work as I'm sure many of you do.  I was not really rushed or running late to get to work today either, but someone I was not paying good enough attention.  I was also talking to my mom on the phone as I do everyday.  My dad is now going to insist on me using that massive expensive bluetooth headset I inherited from working at VZW and that is probably a really good idea because I hit someone.  Yep, I rear ended someone while driving in rush hour on a road I travel everyday.  No one was hurt but it is still just so annoying.  Not only do I have to take care of getting my car fixed but I also have to see how much my citation is.  Did I mention I was trying to save more money and spend less?  I guess I will be dipping into the saving account for this one, dang it.  Stupid Monday.

There has also been more confusion at work.  Our office meeting was canceled today, which is ridiculous because we haven't had one in I swear a month.  I think they are somehow trying to pacify us to an extent, maybe this is because our meetings are usually kinda town hall style.  There was also a long email sent our my the CEO of our company that was a bit strange.  Strange because it seems he is attempting to address all the things that bother us as employees, but it almost seems like those changes also mean a reduction in force.  So, there's another sign that I need to keep my eyes open.

Today also marks the seemingly never ending battle of the pots.  Here's the back story...somehow every time I really like a guy I cook for him and sometimes that also means that kitchen items ie pots get left behind.  This is never on purpose might I add, but when you are canoodling on the couch or snuggled up in deep conversation that the last thing I think about is that I need to wash and collect my items.  So, when the guy gets weird or in this case goes ghost for a while it becomes quite the ordeal to get the said items back.  In this case it is my nice grill pan and perfectly sized red enamel casserole dish with matching top.  I'm a culinarian at heart so I hate to brag but I have really nice kitchen equipment, so of course I want my stuff back.  It is always surprising when the guy acts like it is the biggest request to have them returned even if you volunteer to go pick them up.  Suddenly it is as if I am requesting hot chocolate on the Moon...I mean really?!  Supposedly my items are going to be dropped off later today.  I will believe it when I see it.

All in all today was completely awful and I am thankful it's over but I am so grateful that I have amazing friends, family, and a wet nose to come home to.  Here's to tomorrow and what I will now be calling terrific Tuesday just because after today everything seems terrific.  I plan to cozy up with a big blanket in my favorite leather chair enjoy a very terrible for me piece of cake and indulge in NBC's The Voice.  Something about cake and Adam Levine that can make a girl very happy.  Goodnight!

Love,

Alaina




This brew is for all of you that are struggling to ditch the sugary drinks.  There is no added sweetener in this recipe, but you will not miss it one bit.  This tea is spicy, floral, herby, and absolutely delicious.  Nothing is this simple and tastes this refreshing I assure you.

I get by with a little help from my kitchen gadgets

Here is what you will need:


  • 4-5 Green Tea Bags (I used Whole Foods Organic 365)
  • 2-3 Tazo Passion Tea Bags
  • 2 Quarts Water
  • Heat water on stovetop, in kettle, or through tea maker.
  • Brew tea and let steep until room temperature.
  • Serve over ice.





Get your spoon ready!
Yes, you read that right.  Guilt Free Spiced Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt.  Since it is fall and I am pumpkin obsessed in every form and fashion...pumpkin bread, pumpkin scones, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, and even pumpkin butter I thought I would indulge in a little frozen yogurt too.  There is nothing too terrible for you in this recipe and from my calculations there are only about 120 calories per serving.  Meaning if you wanted to be really bad you could scarf back the entire batch and still not ruin your day.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup lowfat or nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • sweetener of choice to taste (I used 3 packets of Stevia)
  • 1/8th tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8th tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (not pictured)
  • nuts or mini chocolate chips (optional)


  • Mix all ingredients together except nuts/chips if using in a medium size bowl until smooth.
  • Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and mix for 15-20 minutes depending on machine.
  • Once mixture is desired consistency add in the nuts or mini chocolate chips if you are using them and let machine blend for a minute or two.  I choose to top mine with walnuts instead because I was out of chocolate chips.
  • ENJOY!  Serves 2 

*If you do not have an ice cream maker don't fret just toss everything in a blender with some ice and then presto...Guilt Free Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie


Chloe Mae all snuggled in her dog bed

Verde Chicken Chili 


Oh Sunday how I love you.  Today I slept in to 8 am, ran a few miles on the treadmill, made some soup, tossed some laundry into the washer, and snuggled up in my comfy leather chair with my dog.  The weather has been beautiful but definitely autumn.  The air seems to have that chill on it and I feel the need to open the windows a little bit and get under a cozy blanket.

On a cool day there is nothing better than a warm bowl of chili.  That's exactly what I decided to whip up for lunch today and the best part is that I have leftovers for the rest of the week to take to work.  I will take this verde chicken chili (recipe to follow soon) over fast food any day.
Beautiful fruit prepped for a week of healthy lunch


I was also able to prep all my fruit for the week.  I always find that this is the easiest way to make sure you have healthy food accessible.  This is one of the things I mention in the tips tab and I think is very important to be successful when maintaining health.  If you have healthy food in your refrigerator already prepped for eating then you have no excuse to eat junk food.  But like I mentioned before you probably shouldn't have bad junk food in your house to be tempted by.  I think I would much rather be influenced by clean strawberries and grapes than chips.

Happy Sunday to you and your little dog too!  Take advantage of your day off.  Watch some football, read a novel, spend time with the ones you love.

Love,
Alaina




I woke early this morning before the sun and took Chloe Mae for a nice long run.  It is clearly autumn here and that makes me so happy.  I am sad to see summer go, but so happy to see the seasons change.  It is beautiful everywhere you look and this morning when I was running along the Chattahoochee River I started thinking, yes this can be a dangerous thing.

I started recapping the two previous chapters of the book I have been reading, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.  Chapter 3 talks about drive and what drives people.
He mentions:

  • Many people are driven by guilt.
  • Many people are driven by resentment and anger.
  • Many people are driven by fear.
  • Many people are driven by materialism.
  • Many people are driven by the need for approval
That really makes you start to think about what may be driving you, whether that is in thought or in action.  I think to a certain extent we can all probably identify with a handful of those statements for different reasons.  The writer then talks about that when you are able to live a purposeful life things are simpler because in the end something is important enough for your purpose or you can stop worrying about it because it isn't.  What a glorious concept, especially for someone like me who feels like I am in a constant state of uncertainty.  In Chapter 4 he quotes the great C.S. Lewis, "There are two kinds of people: those who say to GOD 'Thy will be done' and those whom GOD says 'Alright, have it your way.'" I think ultimately we have to let go of our desires and believe that GOD made us to be happy no matter what we think that looks like.  By giving up control of my life to GOD I know I will be at peace with His understanding instead of relying on my own.

That is the struggle and battle that I will continue to ask GOD for help in among other things.

Today is Saturday which means it is time to jump fully into the SSB (secret single behavior).  I think for starters I will continue to work on this blog and channel my efforts into making it what I have always wanted it to be...a universal confession and inspiration point.  I may also start heavy cleaning, you know the kind where you dig to the back of your refrigerator or clean the stove, yeah that kind.

So here's to a beautiful day that the LORD has made!  I intend on rejoicing in my single-ness, finishing this mug of chamomile tea, and taking an afternoon nap later.

Love, 

Alaina





I didn't allow myself to hit the snooze button this morning and I am so glad.  I started my morning at 6:50 am today and hit the treadmill for some interval training.  Running intervals is one the easiest ways I think to psych your body and mind out about shaving off some time per mile.  Here is the way it works:

  • Warm up for a few minutes at a brisk walk
  • Run at the pace that you normally would for 2 minutes.  This should be challenging but you should be able to sing your favorite song without too much heavy breathing.
  • Now, run at a pace where you are really pushing it for 2 minutes.  It should be difficult to sing your favorite song, but you are not sprinting for your life.
  • Repeat for at least 20 minutes of running.

 my pink kicks just for indoors 
Basically what happens is you end up seeing those 2 minutes at your normal speed as a break from the speed that is very challenging.  Eventually the speed where you felt like you were really pushing it becomes more like the normal speed and you challenge yourself to run faster.  It sounds kind of hokey but it really does work.  This is the perfect way to end the boredom on a treadmill too because you are really able to see and regulate your speed.  Give it a try and if nothing else I promise you will have some sore calves afterwards and a sweaty face.

Today is Friday which for me also translates to freedom.  Freedom from work and my cubicle and time to enjoy my SSB (secret single behavior).  If you are a Sex and the City fan then you know what I am talking about, if not I will elaborate.  SSB is a culmination of all those secret single things you would probably never do if you lived with someone, like all your oddities.  I can't tell you many of mine because then they wouldn't be a secret, but sometimes I like to blog in bed and imagine I am really in a fancy Parisian hotel where I speak the language fluently of course.

chipotle chicken sandwich, greek salad, and small apple = perfect Panera lunch
Work today was pretty grim but who cares because it is Friday!  I had a perfect lunch at Panera with my co-worker Anja, came home to my little squirt, opened windows to let the Autumn breeze in, and watched Project runway via my DVR without so much as one commercial.  Yes, I would indeed say this is the start to a fabulous weekend full of rejuvenation, organization, and rest.


 Friday also means I get to take Chloe Mae to the park both Saturday and Sunday for long runs in the sunshine.  Since she is a pit bull I don't really believe in dog parks seeing as how judgmental uneducated people can sometimes be so we like to stick to a couple places that are fairly close to home and very large dog friendly.  Not to mention there is nothing better to start your day than a long run next to the Chattahoochee River.  Oh and that fog, yes it is really picture perfect.

Well I plan to keep my routine of getting up before the sun even tomorrow when I could sleep in if I wanted to.  I think in the long run I will be glad I started being productive early.  I mean after all, what's better than an afternoon nap once you have accomplished the world?  Nothing.

Love,

Alaina M.


Yep, I did it...I snoozed.  I have somehow managed to refrain from hitting my snooze button for two whole days just to hit it three different times this morning.  Yes, I failed.  No, I will not let it happen again.  If I don't take care of me no one else will.  So tomorrow morning before work my chunky butt will be on that treadmill doing a little interval training.  According to my fitness plan (see Day 1) Friday should be a rest day, so I think I will do a switch.  Since I am already a runner I think I will step it up to at least two miles in the morning and see about the incline and speed variation tomorrow.  Even Chloe my dog hates early mornings, she winced her eyes when I turn the lamp on.  Yes, I realize I talk about her having human tendencies but if you know her you know this is quite true.

My small group at the CLI fundraising dinner
Thursday is typically one night out of the week that I look forward to very much because that is when I get to hang out and spend a little time with my small group.  Think Bible Study is for old women with icky clothes and cat hair clips?  Not my group.  Check out how fabulous we are!  Everyone is unique enough to be different but still so easy to relate to that we click.

Tonight we went to a benefit dinner for a Christian organization called Christian Library International (CLI) where the primary mission is to get Christian literature into prisons and jails.  This was truly a compelling night full of heartache, love, and human relate-ability.  From the testimony of one of the former inmates to a woman who has been the mother of an inmate all the stories were incredible.  I encourage you to look to them if you have books lying around to donate or extra change in your pocket.  What a pure, wholesome organization who has a clear vision and mission.  It is rare to find an organization where the proceeds actually reach the cause.  This organization really seems to change that view, seeing as how all of their board members take no compensation for their efforts. www.cli-nc.org


I am still praying for patience and purpose as I wrap up another week at work tomorrow.  I think I am going to ingrain this saying into my head and think about it when I feel like giving up on GOD's time.

Love,

Alaina M.


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