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Category: Friday Five 2.0

Friday Five 2.0-5 Things I Am Thankful For

Thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes!  I had a great time this weekend.  The celebration began on Friday with dinner and drinks with my coworkers.  I received a few gift cards while enjoying some delicious food at Miller’s Ale House.  Then on Saturday I met my sisters and brother for lunch.  The plan was to eat Thai food but the restaurant was closed!  It was 12:30!!  So we ended up going to a Chinese restaurant.  It was very good and hit the spot.  On Sunday I went out for a run and then met a friend for breakfast at Nana’s.  We had pancakes and a breakfast burrito.  Finally Monday was even more special.  I went out for a run and and then at school the administrators made breakfast for the teachers.  They do this a few times a year and it is always delicious.  I received a few more gift cards and donuts from coworkers.  That evening I went home to relax and to be thankful for celebrating another birthday.

Birthday weekend 6

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you ate a lot of food and enjoyed everything.  I ran a Turkey Trot in the morning and then went to my brother’s house for dinner.  We had turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, and rice.

Thanksgiving eat what you want

Now let’s continue with this post of things I am thankful for (in no specific order of importance).  However, there are many things I am thankful for but for this post only picked five.  It wasn’t easy.

  • My health.  I’ve been lucky because for pretty much of my 45 years on this earth, I’ve been healthy.  The only “scary” thing I’ve heard is a few years ago when my doctor told me I was borderline pre-diabetic.  I was confused because I couldn’t understand how a runner could be pre-diabetic.  Yes, I was ignorant.  That was a wake up call for me and I made a few changes in my eating habits.  I don’t remember everything I did but it was enough that when I went back the following year, I was no longer pre-diabetic.
  • My family.  I have 5 sisters and 1 brother.  We don’t always see each other but do our best to have a good time when we are together.  I do have an abundance of cousins from both my mom and dad’s side.  Whenever we get together we eat 🙂 and laugh and always cherish our times together.  A group of them (and my brother) helped my sister move to a condo and her son saw how our family came together to make it happen.  
  • My cat.  Lola has been with me since June 2016.  She makes me laugh.  She is loving but sometimes wants to be left alone.  She definitely knows who her momma is and comes to me at night when it is time to sleep.  We also nap together.
  • My students.  As much as they exhaust me, I love my students.  I love it when they greet me in the morning all excited and ready to learn.  I love seeing their little faces when they are thinking about something I just taught them and the wheels are turning in their head.  I love it at the end of the day when they hug me before saying goodbye and going home knowing that I will be seeing them again the next day.  
  • My job/career.  I don’t love my job but do like it.  Well, let me clarify by saying that if teachers were left alone to simply teach, there would be some very happy teachers out there.  I do my best to enjoy it however I can.  I teach but also make sure my kids have fun and look forward to coming back the next day.  I know that at the end of the day I am making a difference in someone’s life.  <<That is what keeps me going.

How was your Thanksgiving?  What are you thankful for?

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

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Friday Five 2.0-5 Things I Am Loving

Happy Friday!  Any interesting plans this weekend?  My birthday is on Monday so I have plans on Saturday to get together with my sisters and my brother to celebrate.  Nothing fancy but we will be going to a Thai restaurant for some delicious pad thai and pad see ew.  Yummy!

happybirthdaycake

Next week I work Monday and Tuesday and then will be off the rest of the week.  You bet I am excited.  I will be running a turkey trot on Thursday and planning to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.  I made a mistake and thought that the shirts were going to be blue.  They’re not.  They will be an ivory/oatmeal color.  It is still a pretty color.  Remember, there is still time to sign up and use code “17BIBRAVE10” to save 10% off all distances.

Art Van Turkey Trot-7

When I started writing this post I did not realize the topic this week was “Giving Thanks”.  I had initially decided to write something related to it for the day after Thanksgiving.  Instead in this post you’ll be reading about some of the few things I am loving.

  • Waves Micro Towel – I’ve been using these for a few years.  They’re fast drying and ultra absorbent.  I use mine to wrap my wet hair after a shower.  They are also perfect to take to the beach or on a trip.  I love that they’re not bulky and come in some cool colors.

Waves Micro Towel 1

  • Oiselle Lightning Layer – Thanks to the time change it is dark in the morning and after work.  I prefer to run after work because I know more people and cars are out there during that time.  My vest makes sure that I am seen.  Well, it is a top and a vest.  I’ve worn it alone with a sports bra during the summer and over a long sleeve top during the fall/winter.
  • iHome Color Changing Bluetooth Speaker – I love listening to music while working in my classroom.  I mainly listen to Amazon Prime and have a few playlists that I like.  I also enjoy Pandora but for some weird reason my school has blocked that site.  With my bluetooth speaker I can listen to whatever I want.  It is easy to set up and has great sound quality.  I love how it changes colors throughout each song.
  • Achievement – Do you want to get paid to be healthy!  Join Achievement, connect your apps, and start earning money.  Use THIS LINK to join and we both get 250 points.  For every 10,000 points you accumulate, you get $10.  I’ve connected it to FitBit, Strava, and Garmin accounts and already made $20.  Seriously, you have NOTHING to lose.
  • Eagle Creek Pack-It Sac Large– I originally bought this after I saw how my friend, Meghann, had neatly packed for our trip to Alaska.  I did not.  I’ve heard great things about their products but until recently had never own any of them.  You can use this to store magazines, computer cords, toiletries, etc.  I use it to take home my papers to grade.  Throughout the day I store the papers inside and make sure to grab it before heading out the door.

Eagle Creek 1.jpg

Any exciting plans this weekend?  What are you loving lately?

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

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Friday Five 2.0-5 Goals for November

I realized it is almost halfway through November and I am just writing down my goals. But better late than never, right?

Run more than 100 miles.  I’ve been slacking off on my runs the past couple of months. The last time I ran over 100 miles in a month was in July with 122 miles.  Then in August it was 52, September it was 48, and in October it was 45 miles.  No excuses since I have all of the shoes now.

100miles

Take swimming lessons.  I still have some classes that I purchased in the summer.  I just need to figure out the days and times that are convenient for me and hopefully they will also work for my swimming coach.  This goal might even extend to December since the classes expire at the end of December.

Be more patient.  My days have been stressful.  Many of my kids are low in reading and writing.  Some struggle with basic instructions.  That combination just drives me up the wall.  I just cannot understand how someone cannot follow basic instructions.   Oh, and they TALK all of the time.  Yep, breathe slowly and relax.

Have more social activities.  Lately my days have been all about work.  I get to work at 7am and leave around 4 or 5 pm.  Then I am just too tired to do anything else.  I need to find a balance with work and having some fun too.  Tomorrow I am meeting some friends at Cooper’s Hawk for dinner and you bet I am excited about it.

Get a haircut.  Why is it that we drag doing something very simple?  The last time I got a haircut was in June.  Prior to that was August of 2016.  My plan is to cut about 2-3 inches.

haircut 

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

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Friday Five 2.0-Top 5 things I am looking forward to the Turkey Trot Chicago

It is hard to believe that we are close to the end of October and November starts next week.  Also, hard to believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Oh, and my birthday is that same week as Thanksgiving.  🙂

I am excited because that same week of Thanksgiving, I only work Monday and Tuesday and then I am off the rest of the week.  Thanksgiving is always a time to eat all of the food and spend time with family.   It is also time to run in a turkey trot.  This year I am looking forward to run the Art Van Turkey Trot in Chicago.  I haven’t decided on whether to run the 5K or 8K.   It’s been years since I’ve run in a turkey trot.  Read along as I list the reasons why I am excited to run this race and why you should too.

Art Van Turkey Trot-2

1. This race supports the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  What better way to start off the day than to help out fellow Chicago friends to ensure they don’t go hungry this holiday season.

2. It is a local race.  That saves me time and money.  I sleep in my own bed and drive to the race.  I’ve never run this race before and am looking forward to runing in Lincoln Park.

3. FREE Race Photos.  I never buy any of my race photos (too expensive and don’t like how I look) but I’ve noticed that I do like the FREE ones. Regardless, whether I like them or not, they’re still FREE.

4. It is a short race.  There are two options in this race, 5K and am 8K.  Whether it is 3.1 or 6.2 miles, those distances are still doable.  Right?

5. A cool shirt and medal!  New this year is that everyone that crosses the finish line gets a medal.   Check out that cool blue color of the shirts!  Love it!

Art Van Turkey Trot-6

EXTRA:
6. I get to wear some cool socks!  I purchased these socks at the Shamrock Shuffle expo specifically to run a turkey trot.  I am excited to wear them on race day.

Art Van Turkey Trot-5

Remember, if you would like to sign up, use TURKEYDAY2017 to save 10% off any race distance.

Art Van Turkey Trot-1

Any plans to run a Turkey Trot this year?

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

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Friday Five 2.0-Luvo Frozen Meals Product Review

Disclaimer:  I received Luvo Frozen Meals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I love to eat but don’t like to cook.  My mother makes the best Mexican food and I look forward to it everytime I see her.  

I have a hard time deciding what to take to school for lunch.  I only have 30 minutes to eat and in that time I also have to finish up some work for the next two hours of class and use the bathroom.  Enter Luvo Frozen Meals.  The past few weeks I had the opportunity to try their products for a quick, easy, and healthy meal.

Luvo Frozen Meals 1

Luvo Frozen Meals 10

Luvo’s philosophies for their meals consist of :

  • The right balance of protein, whole grains, and veggies
  • Not too much sodium or added sugar
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners

There are so many meals to choose from – either in a pouch or a bowl.  Below are the ones I was able to sample.

Kale Ricotta Ravioli – This one had a great smell!  Teachers asked me what I was eating because it smelled so good.  This bowl is nut free and vegetarian with 12 grams of protein, 14 grams of whole grains, and 1/2 cup of vegetables

Hawaiian Un-Fried Rice-I didn’t think I would like this but it is actually very tasty.  This bowl is vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy free with 10 grams of plant protein, 42 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of fruit and vegetables. 

Luvo Frozen Meals 4

Quinoa & Veggie Enchilada Verde-My sister and I both enjoyed this bowl.  I love green enchiladas as well as quinoa.  The salsa verde was tasty and definitely not spicy at all. This bowl is gluten-free, nut free, vegetarian with 10 grams of protein, 37 grams of whole grains, and 1/2 cup of vegetables.

Great Karma Coconut Curry-This is another bowl I did not think I would like.  I like coconut but not a fan of curry.  This bowl is vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy free with 10 grams of plant protein, 16 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of vegetables.

Luvo Frozen Meals 9

So Cal Kale & Bean-I know Kale is good for you (don’t eat it as much as I would like to) so I looked forward to this meal.  It was sweet which I liked.  This bowl is vegan, gluten-free, nut free, vegetarian, dairy free with 10 grams of plant protein, 23 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of fruit and vegetables.

Luvo Frozen Meals 5

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese-I loved the brown rice noodles and the panko style topping on top made it crunchy!  This bowl is gluten-free, nut free, vegetarian with 11 grams of protein, 55 grams of whole grains, and 1/2 cup of vegetables.

Luvo Frozen Meals 6

I know frozen meals are never a substitute for real food.  However, with so many choices of frozen meals out there, I didn’t feel guilty having one of these for lunch.  Here are a few reasons:

  • A few have a high number of whole grains and/or protein.  I was able to stay full till dinner time.
  • Most frozen meals have a high number of sodium.  However, the meals I tried had sodium in the 300s.  The Great Karma Coconut Curry has the highest number with 390 milligrams.
  • A variety to choose from whether you are looking for a vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, nut free, or dairy free meal.
  • Great taste!  Seriously, I was surprised at how good they were.  I tried 6 different meals and I liked all of them.
  • They’re inexpensive!  I went to my local Jewel-Osco and they were on sale for $3.00 (regular price was $4.99) each which is affordable.  Click HERE to find out if they’re available at your local grocery store.

Have you tried Luvo Frozen Meals?  Which one did you like the most?

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

Hoping everyone had a good week!

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