Monday, August 11, 2014

The Latest & Greatest: Rock Climbing, Hiking, "Tone It Up", & a New Family Addition

Current Mood: Chill
Current Jams: Yeah-Joe Nichols

Okay guys, seriously, it's starting to feel like we're Facebook friends; we barely talk, we never see each other, and our interaction is now limited to you stalking my photos. I know, it's my fault I've been neglecting our friendship and I apologize, but a lot has been going on with the Eray Rays, so I'm going to do my best to throw all of my life updates/adventures/spiritual awakenings in this post. Bare with me, it might get a little messy…

Seeing as Labor Day is mere weeks away, I guess that means my anecdotes about my Memorial Day and Mother's Day are a little irrelevant, yes? I guess I'll try and make this snappy:

We celebrated Mom, Jess graduated college from UNC Chapel Heel (get it?!) (ohmigod I have no friends), 
The baby sis and I on her graduation day!
Jo and Dave became famous on the wedding circuit:

And Kate had a brush with fame on the Dancing with the Stars circuit:


We celebrated Dad, and I participated in a seriously competitive mile-a-day family challenge for 40 days (it was intense you guys, my sister once completed her mile walking up and down a NYC apartment hallway 750 times just to stay in the running. Lives were almost lost). I also completed my 100 Happy Days challenge, 

(this was my final Happy Days photo)

and I experienced all 9 circles of hell at one Belmont Stakes. This was singlehandedly, unequivocally, the most horrible experience of my life; my family has now actually censored the amount of times I'm allowed to speak about it. Belmont was bookended with my being rubbed so close up against strangers I could tell what deodorant they were wearing, or not wearing in most cases, and was interspersed with the racetrack running out of food, beer, water, and my being stranded without a way home in the middle of Queens. June ended on a higher note though, with both of my parents' retirement! I'm so proud and happy for the two of them, there are no two harder working and more deserving people:

Congrats, Mom & Dad!

I donated 10 inches of my hair to the non-profit organization, Locks of Love, and thus got a new look:

Holy close up!

And as you know we geeked the fuck out at Harry Potter world and Disney World. I also tapped into some hidden culinary talent I never new existed, (AKA was forced to learn how to nourish myself when my parents were away for 2 weeks) and made this Lemon Orzo Shrimp & Arugula dish!
Find the recipe: here 

Note: I used Chardonnay instead of a dry white wine, which was highly beneficial during both the cooking and eating processes.

And most importantly, I became obsessed with my latest workout friend: the Tone It Up app.

Tone It Up:
In short, this app sends you a daily workout video or print out and is indubitably the best thing that has happened to me since they made dental floss on a stick. (Now I don't have to shove my entire fist in my mouth, thereby gagging myself, every time I need to exercise some dental hygiene). Not only has the app forced me to incorporate exercise into my schedule on a consistent and regimented basis, it has made me become more adventurous when it comes to working out. I'm not ready to like, drink the CrossFit kool-aide or anything, but I find myself craving the approval of Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up, so much so that I have gone hiking: 
(It was a 3.5 mile hike. Because we got lost for 2.5 miles).

Rock Climbing:
(Indoor, obviously, sistah doesn't do bugs).

...and on 10 mile bike rides just so I can be a part of their totally toned club. I literally wake up and can't wait to check the day's Tone It Up work out, like my lame enthusiasm can somehow prove to them how much more dedicated I am than the other 5 million people checking the app. Like, why do I want their approval so badly? Ugh, I'm such a loser, I don't even think they care that I'm doing their workouts, you guys. But I do, and I'm seeing results, which is even more important to me; it's been a little while since I've felt this strong and in control of my body and I'm liking the changes. And yeah, I'll probably still continue to wake up each morning and check the workout app with the anticipation and glee that can only otherwise be brought on by Christmas morning and the promise of a great hair day.

Here was one such workout: 

They also have a website with the workout schedule and nutrition plan, which can be found here:


So far in August I've participated in the "Strike Out ALS Ice Bucket Challenge",


have begun celebrating my sister Kate's month-long Birthday

...and welcomed the newest member of our family:
My sister Jo's new puppy, Tama (pronunciation: Tomma, meaning: "sunset" in Tahitian). They rescued her, despite the fact that she looks like she's about to get dropped off at the pound.

But that's the latest with me!

Take Away Message: NEVER go to Belmont Stakes. And try mixing up your workout routine with "Tone It Up"! Or something else different like a cycling class, kayaking, anything that won't make exercising feel like a chore. 

Until next time, 
you are beautiful.