Wednesday, April 27, 2011

DAYS 1-3 of Yoga Challenge!

Day 1: Monday began my first day of this challenge. I was feeling a little groggy from working 30 hours in 3 days. I also had not run in those 3 days either. I probably should have ran on Friday morning, but it was cold, raining/snowing, and Paul had the morning off. The temptation of laying in bed with him all warm and cozy with Chica between us was just too much, and I had to give in. Well, boy did my body feel it all day. I was tired and felt heavy, and to top it off it made work go by much slower than normal. So, when Monday came around and I had to run 4 miles AND do yoga, I was not in the mood. However, I did it anyways. I did the yoga first (for obvious reasons), and then went on an easy 4 miler down by the river.

Since my favorite teacher at my gym left there is not a class that I go to on Mondays, so I did Yoga Journal's Day 1 Fun Yoga Flow. It was a 45 minute yoga flow with instructor Elise Lorimer. I really enjoyed this video and would recommend it to friends. It was relaxing, yet at the end I felt energized and ready to go run in the cold mist. My favorite part about this video however was how the flow took you all around the mat, so I felt like I was getting a small cardio workout as well. A great warm-up for my 4 miler! I also did a couple poses that I had not done in previous classes I had been taking.

I did fail on the vegetarian front. Since we still have a few meat items left in the house I did not eat dinner as a veg. Instead, I had leftovers from Sundays dinner. A delicious pasta dish with Chicken Sausage, Kale, Chickpeas, and Fire-Roasted Tomatoes. I love this dish it is quick and easy to make, and the leftovers are still even better because the sauce has gotten to sit overnight with the pasta making the dish that much flavorful.

DAY 2: Tuesday, I finally got to sleep in! However, I slept in so late that I was unable to run that morning, so I opted for a run after work(at least that was the plan). I did do Day 2 of Yoga Journal's Challenge. I did not really like this one at all. It was suppose to be a 15 minute sequence to do in the morning to help wake up the body, but to tell you the truth, there was so much laying around that afterwards I just wanted to go to sleep right there in shavasana. I had to do about 3 or 4 Sun Salutations in order to welcome the day at the end.

I ended up skipping my run this day though. I started reading The Time Traveler's Wife, and just got lost in the book and ended up reading it for 3 hours!!!! It is such an awesome book!!!! Yay for book club to give me an excuse to finally read the book (of course it was the book that I picked to read.)

So, I went to a hot yoga class at Hot House Yoga. I loved it so much that I signed up for the new student 30 day special!!!! It was finally the yoga class I had been looking for. While some of the poses were more advanced then what I am use to I am hoping that by the end of this class I can do a head stand AND a complete birds of paradise. It even pushed me to some poses that I never thought I would be able to do. For example, the tri-pod, and I even was half way with the birds of paradise (I just could not lift my leg up so I was bind ed standing up with my leg bent at the knee.) I plan on doing this for most of my 30 day challenge.

I did eat all vegetarian today though!

Breakfast: Mushroom, Spinach, and Feta Egg White Omelet. One piece of Morning Star's Veggie Sausage Pattie, and a side of fruit of fresh kiwi and strawberries.

Lunch: Chickpea and Leak Salad with a Indian Yogurt Dressing and a piece of French Baguette Bread.

Dinner: Masala Baked Tofu, Quinoa, and Indian Spiced Green Beans.

Dessert: A cup of Vanilla Ice Cream

DAY 3: I felt great today when I woke up! I did not wake up once the night before. Which is a pretty big deal for me. I credit that to the awesome hot yoga class I took the night before. I ate some breakfast of leftover quinoa with almond milk, a pear, almonds, nutmeg, and flax seed! Delicious! Then I went for a run. It was shorter than Monday, because I had to be at work 30 minutes early, so it was 3 1/2 miles. I also did Yoga Journal's Day 3 video for their challenge. This video focused mainly on core work. Since it was just 15 minutes long I plan on adding it to my daily routine. It was a great core workout. I like how my abs felt sore, but I was not doing the standard crunches.

Day 2 of my Vegetarian Diet:

Breakfast: Left over Quinoa with Almond Milk, Chopped Pear, Almonds, Nutmeg, and a sprinkle of Flax Seed. ( I think that next time I made this I will use walnuts so as to bring more variety into my diet)

Lunch: Chickpea and Leak Salad with an Indian Yogurt Sauce.

Snack: Banana and a french baguette with Nutella Chocolate Spread

Dinner: Left over Tofu Masala, Indian Spiced Green Beans, and a sliced tomato

Until Next Time....Nameste.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

30 Day Yoga Challenge

I think I am going to do a 30 day yoga challenge. I got the idea for the challenge from Yoga Journal's 21 Day Challenge. I thought I would take this one step further and practice for a month straight instead of just 21 days. I was looking for something active that I could do everyday. Even the days when I work 12 hours. Since I can't run every day (well I could but, A. I don't think my knees could take it and B. I can't run on the weekends that I work) I thought this would be perfect. Plus, I am looking to extend my practice anyways. I also want to add head stands into my inversion practice. I am also doing this because I want to start a home practice. Usually when I practice at home I don't feel the same relaxed feeling I do after a class, and I want to achieve that even on my own. Yoga is suppose to be a personal practice, and I feel that if I develop my own home practice then it will help me even in class to focus on my body more, and not so much on the people around me.

Another challenge that I am going to take is a vegetarian diet. While I am doing this 30 day yoga challenge I am going to eat only vegetarian and vegan food. Lately I feel that I have been lacking in my healthy eating habits (I eat a lot of pizza). I have been a vegetarian before, but this time it is different. I want to make this more of lifestyle choice. I hope to continue this practice even after my challenge is complete. The only struggle that I see with this is when Paul and I got to Florida. For one, we will be in Miami and I am going to be tempted by all the delicious Cuban food. I wonder if I will slip up. Also, if Paul and I eat at a friend's house, and they serve meat is it rude of me to mention that I am vegetarian?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Paul and I made it through our first Montana winter!!!!! From what people have told us this was a pretty harsh winter as well. It was the 5th snowest winter here in Missoula since they started keeping records. We also broke some record lows as well. While we are still about 10 degrees below normal I will take temperatures in the upper 30's and 40's any day over anything below freezing! We also found ways to keep warm. One weekend we ventured up to Rock Creek and rented a cabin for a night. We did some hiking up there as well. Gorgeous area, pictures are at the end of the post.

This past weekend Pygmy Lush and Des Ark came to play a show in Missoula. That was amazing!!!! Best show I have seen all year. Well, I don't have much to go off of, it was only the second show I have seen in 2011. But, the show was better than the Drive By Truckers that's for sure (that was the other show I went to this year.) It was also nice to have our first house guests! We had so much hanging out, and to tell you the truth we were a little sad to see them all go.

Here are some pictures from our trip to Rock Creek as a farwell to this post....

This was our cabin that we stayed in at Rock Creek.

Chica decided that she wanted to jump in the creek at one point. She quickly found out how cold it was.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's the Middle of January Already!!!!

It's already January 18th! and I have not even started my goals for the new year. Although the first week was hard with starting a new job, and getting into that rutine. On top of that I had to do things like get a TB test and a backround check that had to be done that week, and around my schedule. Then I went to visit Richmond for a week. Although I did say I would use that week to start my 2011 plan, that did not happen. Instead I just relaxed and saw friends, and well ended up coming home with a pretty narly cold. Although the good news is it is the first time I have been sick since moving to Montana!  But now it is January 18th and I have yet to start the new me.

So, tomorrow cold or no cold I am going to start my new rutine One of my goals is going to become a morning person. As most of you who know me, I am not a morning person. I am angry and violent, and it is just not pretty, Paul usually wakes me up with coffee and breakfast in bed to ease the pain. But, that is not going to last forever. So, I have been doing some research on ideas to get up in the morning. And, I think my problem is I have trouble going to sleep. I like to watch a movie or some TV before bedtime, and apparently that is not a good idea. The bright light of the computer keeps you up, and does the opposite from helping people sleep. So, my new rutine is going to be yoga, a hot bath, a book, and then lights out! So, this starts tonight and we will see what happens.

My trip to Richmond was a lot of fun, but it did not help my goal of not spending. So, that starts this week as well. So, even though I really want to go to some thrift stores and work on my house, that has to wait until February. I have spend way too much money in January.

My last goal is to start training for the Missoula Marathon that I have already signed up for. And, I have not run one day in January. I am going to start that as well. Although I might put that off for a day or two because the bouncing up and down is not good for my head. It is like I can feel my brain hit the sides of my skull. But, I did buy five classes at the hot yoga studio that I am going to do this week. Hopefully that will not only clear me up but also help with some detox and stress that has built up from not working out. And to work on saving money I am going to put a dollar in my money jar every time I work out. That way I save money and have some motivation to so.

What are your New Year's Resolutions?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy 2011 to all our friends and family! I promised to make one of my New Year's Resolutions to keep up with our blog, so even though I am starting late, I am working on keeping this one. Things have been pretty busy out here in Missoula. December of course had all it's regular chaos with getting ready for the holidays and going to parties, and buying presents for everyone. This year was a big one though! My first time planning a holiday by myself! And, I must say I did a pretty good job.

I tried my best to make this year special since Paul and I were going to be away from our families. It was tough, but we had a wonderful time. Here in Montana you can pay $5 to the National Forest Service and get a Christmas tree permit. We thought that it would be fun to go and get a tree out near Lolo National Forest, so we rented snowshoes from REI and made it out of town to the Lolo Recreation area. We got about 45 minutes outside of town when we came across a huge snow storm! So, to play it safe we parked at a camp ground and attempted to snow shoe there. However, because I have feet the size of a small child's the snow shoes did not stay on very well, so that turned out to be a major FAIL! But, we did find a tree, and we brought it home and put up our lights and ornaments. It was the perfect Charlie Brown Christmas tree! It filled out pretty well once we put our presents under neath.

I also attempted to make candy this year. An annual Tuck family tradition that I look forward to every year. Doing it myself though made me appreciate all the hard work my aunts and mother put into each year in making the candy. It really is a two day process. I also messed it up a bit because I learned that powdered sugar is not the same as granulated sugar. There is a reason the recipe calls for powdered sugar and not granulated as well. At least I will know for next year. My friend Marcie came over agian and helped me dip the candies. She even added some of her own flare and made chocolate covered turtles! They were delicious! Something I will definately add into the tradition for next year. Paul made a delicious breakfast Pizza that served as the perfect starting point in our candy making festivaties (the mimosas were also a really big help).

I also got another part time job since I last posted. It is with Missoula County Public schools and I am a Noon Duty Aid. Right now they have me in charge of recess! And, it is the coolest job ever! Not only am I around some really rad kids, but I get to be in charge of recess...The best part of everyone's day! And, recess in Missoula is not like recess back in Virginia. It does not matter what the weather is like those kids go outside. As long as it is above 0 degrees those kids are allowed out, and some days it is real cold. But, needless to say I really enjoy it, everyone is really nice and it is also a great resume builder for getting my foot in the door for teaching.

Next week I will be making my way back east to visit friends and family! I can not wait, not just because I miss everyone, but because it will be a nice vacation. I have yet to start on any of my other New Year's Resolutions, because I have been so busy working. Next week will be my first day off since before Christmas. I plan to jump start things by relaxing, so that I can come back feeling refreshed and motivated! Haha! We will see how long that lasts. This weekend I am thinking of making Shrimp and Grits. I will let you know if it is any good or not, and if it is I will make sure to post the recipe. See everyone next week!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Happy Holidays to everyone! Paul and I have been so busy with everything, and there is just so much to share I do not know where to start. How about I start with the fact that I think it has been about three months since my last posting. Sorry! So, I guess the best place to start is the beginning.

As you may or may not know I got a job as a receptionist at Minuteman Jet Center. It is a Fixed Based Operation located at the Missoula "International" Airport. (I use international in quotations because there are actually no international flights, unless you count Canada...but I feel like that is a stretch.) We fuel planes, charter flights, offer pilot lessons, I pretty much cater to the rich. Blah Blah Blah!

Paul's career search in Missoula has been a slow time coming, but I think he finally found his star in the sky. After two short stints working at a chain book store and then at a local software company, he landed his dream job as a Tours Specialist in the Guided Tours Department at Adventure Cycling Association. Needless to say I am super jealous of his awesome job out here. Headquartered here in Missoula, Adventure Cycling is a national non-profit organization that promotes bicycle travel here in the United States and throughout the world. He is excited to be back in a non-profit environment and will be helping ACA's members register, plan and prepare for guided bicycling tours around the US - from small, week-long sampler tours to full on, multiple-month, cross-country expeditions. Besides the obvious perks of a full-time position, Paul is happy to be working with such a rad group of people there, all of whom share his passion for bikes and the outdoors. We're hoping to take advantage of their travel offerings and do a small bicycle tour of our own sometime next year.

Paul and I have also been doing a lot of hiking. Well before all the snow hit the ground. In early November we both participated in the Leave No Trace Trainers Workshop here in Missoula in the Rattlesnake Wilderness. Leave No Trace is a non-profit organization that helps to educate the world in leaving the least amount of impact as possible on the environment while camping and spending time in the outdoors. For example, you can use any of the seven Leave No Trace Principles doing any number of outdoor activities not just backpacking. Paul can even use them in his bike tours while camping and enjoying the outdoors.

We have also celebrated two holidays out here in Missoula. Our friends Johnny and Marcie have been more than wonderful in allowing us to celebrate with them. For Halloween, Marcie and I made a meatloaf in the shape of a bloody zombie hand. We also had Swamp Water Mojitos, Potatoes A Gratin, and some wonderful soup made by a friend. We also made masks in the idea of saving money and not buying costumes. It was such a fun idea. I will hopefully try to post some pictures up shortly, but some may be inappropriate due to a good friend's creativity.

Thanksgiving was also spend at Marcie and Johnny's house. I made my first cheesecake which turned out delicious! It was a pumpkin and bourbon cheesecake. Marcie made a ruhbarb tart, and we had cranberries, mash potatoes, cauliflower gratin, turkey (obviously), and so much more. It was a feast fit for a king. And King Author's royal court could haven eaten all the food! Needless to say it was one of my favorite Thanksgivings to date. While Paul and I did miss our families deeply over the holiday we were thankful to be around such wonderful people. It even snowed!

Well, I guess that is all for now. I promise to keep more up to date with my blog. I plan on making that a New Year's Resolution! I will post pictures shortly.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Work in Progress

I know that we have not been updating as we should, but to tell you the truth things are moving a bit slowly here in Missoula, Montana. Paul, Chica and I have settled into our apartment pretty nicely. We know own four pieces of furniture; a futon/bed, a dining room table with four chairs, and a coffee table with two matching side tables. However, the place is pretty big (we have an extra room that we are going to turn into the office/guest room so when you all come to visit you will have a place to stay) and it is starting to feel more and more like home.

Paul recently spent 7 days out in Yellowstone National Park on a 6 day backpacking trip with his friend Johnny Fink. He had a great time despite the fact that he came back with blisters all over his feet. Marcie (Johnny Fink's wonderful girlfriend and now my second friend in Missoula) invited me to her lake house on Crane Ferry Lake right outside of Helena. It was beautiful, she also taught me how to refinish furniture. That skill should come in handy since we are getting most of our furniture from yard sales and thrift stores.

Paul's birthday was Labor Day. Since that was the day after he came back from his epic hiking trip in Yellowstone, he spent most of his day in bed. I however, spent the day in the kitchen making him food and his favorite cookies, Snicker Doodles. Which by the way are a bit misleading. I had never eaten a Snicker Doodle, and I thought (because of the name) they were similar to chocolate chip cookies, but instead of chocolate chips I would use Snicker pieces. That is not what they are at all. Instead they are more like a sugar cookie with a sugar/cinnamon coating. We also planned on going to a couple local breweries that day, but because of the holiday they were closed. So, I took it upon myself to go out and get a nice selection of local beer so that we could have a tasting here at home.

The job search is going a bit slow. However, Paul and I were both called in this week for second interviews. Fingers crossed that at least one of these opportunities works out for us. We will keep you updated on that once we hear something.

Sorry, that I did not have much to report on this post, but as I said in the beginning things have been moving rather slow lately. Hopefully it will pick up once we get jobs and get a little more settled.