14 Aug

Good morning! I don’t work out on Wednesday mornings because I take this awesome strength class at my gym after work, so I slept in a little bit and woke up at 6:30 to take Lily on a walk. I rolled over and grabbed my phone to check the weather like I do every morning and about had a heart attack when I saw that it was 48 degrees. 48 degrees?! In August? I thought about hiding in my warm bed instead of taking Lily for a walk, but then I remembered how much better I feel all day even when I just take a walk before work. Plus, how can I resist this face?


Lily and I walked for a little over 30 minutes and arrived home just as Ryan was getting ready to leave for work. I couldn’t decide what I wanted for breakfast, so I went with my old standby: cereal. I top a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with blueberries and a little bit of almond coconut milk and ate it while reading blogs on my phone. I really wanted something warm like an egg and jelly bagelwich, which I discovered from Julie’s blog, but I didn’t feel like cleaning any dishes. Does that make me lazy?

But despite the cold temperatures this morning, it’s supposed to be 70 by this afternoon, which is my favorite weather. Even though I’m taking a strength training class at the gym after work, I definitely want to do something outside too even if it’s just another walk with Lily. I hope this weather doesn’t mean we’re in for an even colder winter! I’m expecting it to be cold for our December wedding, but at this rate, it’s going to be -10 degrees. Yikes!

Speaking of our wedding, I’m still stuck on what gift to give our guests… I want it to be personal, but I also realize that I am the least crafty person on the planet. Also, since it will be winter, I want it to be appropriate for the season, but I don’t want something Christmas-y like an ornament. I was thinking of making a little care package of hot chocolate for each guest staying at the hotel we blocked off or maybe even some homemade Irish cream since Ryan is Irish. We’ll see! Feel free to give me any good ideas you may have!

I hope you all are having a great day. We’re halfway to the weekend! I can’t wait to see one of my best friends on Saturday!


P.s. I updated the Recipe page!


Morning Workouts

13 Aug

Happy Tuesday! I did not want to get out of bed this morning. I was so sleepy! But I knew that I would feel better after a workout, so I dragged myself out of bed and into my workout clothes. It used to be light out at 6:20am at the beginning of the summer, but it’s been pretty dark when I walk out of the house to start my run at that time. It looks like fall is creeping up on us! Since I did my long run yesterday morning, I decided to do an interval workout that incorporated squats. I started with five minutes of jogging before starting the intervals. After every running segment I did 10 squats before walking for a minute. The squats after running/sprinting were killer!

Even though it’s only 9:30am, I’m already excited for lunch. Last night I made my favorite salmon recipe for me and Ryan, and I’m excited to share it!

Pistachio Encrusted Salmon

2 filets of salmon

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. shelled pistachios

Cooking Spray or oil/butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put your salmon on a baking sheet lined with foil and spray them with cooking spray or rub a little bit of butter or oil on them. Put your brown sugar and pistachios in a blender or food processor and blend until the pistachios are chopped. Then, spread the mixture on top of your salmon and bake for 15 minutes or until salmon flakes when you scrape a fork across it.

This salmon is so good! I can’t wait to incorporate it into my lunch today. We paired it with roasted zuchinni and garlic bread (for Ryan). Dessert included toasted coconut ice cream from Kilwin’s :). I hope you’re having a great day!

Question: Do you like working out in the morning? Why or why not?


12 Aug

Good morning!! I am usually not a Monday person. In fact, I loathe them. I love the weekends so much and cherish the time I get to spend with Ryan and our friends/family that Monday always makes me sad. In order to counteract those feelings, I try to think of Monday as a chance to “reset” myself. I let myself indulge over the weekends (think pizza and beer), so I use Monday as an opportunity to get back into my routine of exercise and healthy eating. Whatever works!

Backing up to this weekend, I feel like Ryan and I jammed a ton of things into two days. When I moved in with Ryan in May, I packed up everything in my apartment at IU except my bed, desk, dresser, and a few other odds and ends. So, this weekend was the last possible chance I had to go down there and pick up my furniture and clean my place before management did a move-out inspection. I’ve been dreading this task because moving turns me into a monster. It would probably be safer for everyone if I could just move alone. But since I can’t carry furniture by myself, people are always enlisted to help me, and the day always ends with me apologizing for being a moving Nazi :).

Our plans were to drive down to IU Saturday morning, move all my stuff, and then stay the night at my parents’ house with my sister and niece for fun. Even though Ryan and I had a long day ahead of us on Saturday, we decided to go out with some friends on Friday. We met up with them at a bar downtown for a drink to celebrate our friend’s birthday and ended up staying to eat dinner. We were having an awesome time until some woman at the bar decided to play Sarah McLachlan’s “Arms of the Angel.” I don’t know about you guys, but that is THE most depressing song on the planet. Sarah McLachlan does animal cruelty commercial’s for the ASPCA, which I think is awesome, but the commercials always involve that song playing in the background while pictures of abused animals are being shown.… Watch it at your own risk.

Anyways, the night ended with us stopping by my favorite Irish pub for a beer because there was live music. But the best part of the evening was looking over and recognizing the band Switchfoot next to us.


For some reason, I immediately freaked out even though I haven’t listened to Switchfoot since the Walk to Remember soundtrack came out. What  can I say? It was my first celebrity sighting 🙂

The rest of the weekend was not that exciting. We woke up Saturday and drove to my parents’ house to drop off the pup and then made it to Bloomington around 1:30 pm. As the official moving Nazi, you would think that I would have called my apartment ahead of time to figure out how to dispose of my bed and desk, but… I neglected to do so. I just assumed there would be a dumpster at my apartment to throw them out. Oops :). Turns out there is no dumpster, only a trash chute. Luckily, Ryan wasn’t too hard on me (I promised him beer after), so we found someone to take my furniture and were out of my apartment in two hours. After a beer at a local brewery, we headed back to my parents’ house to spend the night with my sister and niece. We woke up Sunday morning, and after a quick tea party with my niece and Lily, Ryan and I went to Crate and Barrel to register for our wedding!

Registering was way harder than I thought it would be. In the words of Ryan, “we are going to eat off of these plates forever! This is a big decision!” Luckily, we made it out of there with some really great stuff on our registry. I can’t wait!!

And that brings us to this morning. I’ve decided to start training for a half-marathon that’s in November, and since I’m a little nervous about it, I’ve already started training even though it’s still 2.5 months away. Since I didn’t get to do my long run yesterday, I woke up early this morning and completed 6 miles in 51 minutes. I think I could have done it in under 50 minutes, but I think I should start eating something before running anything over 5 miles. I started to feel really drained after about 4.5 miles. Lesson learned! But after a quick egg sandwich on a cinnamon bagel thin and a banana, I was out the door to work! It’s my last week of work for the summer, so I better get to it. Happy Monday!


Thing’s I’m Lovin’ Right Now

9 Aug

This list is comprised of my favorite things at the moment…mostly healthy food and beverages but also completely random. Enjoy :).

1. Justin’s All-Natural Honey Peanut Butter –>

This stuff is the jam. I love that the ingredient list is short and understandable, and it tastes like real peanut butter. I’ve compared it to a ton of other natural brands, and it always comes out on top.

2. Starbucks Refreshers


I am currently drinking one as I type! The iced Refreshers come in Lime, Berry (my favorite), and Orange. They are delicious, and for a Venti (my choice of size for these babies) they only have about 90-100 calories depending on which one you choose. I know these can’t be considered healthy, but they are way better than some of the other stuff you can get at Starbucks!

3. Carba-nada Fettucine –>

This all-natural pasta has less carbs than normal pasta and 12g of protein per serving. Less carbs + more protein = the best pasta on the planet. And it’s delicious.

4. Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk

I LOVE this milk. It definitely takes some getting used to, but it’s delicious. I stopped drinking dairy a year or two ago for a number of reasons. I don’t think anyone needs dairy. We are the only species of mammal that continues to drink milk after infancy AND that comes from another species. I definitely agree that milk is a great source of vitamins and minerals, but I think that a healthy diet makes up for not drinking milk. Plus, a lot of milk substitutes like almond milk have the same vitamins/minerals. Lastly, I struggled with breakouts on my face all through high school and into college, and once I substituted almond milk for regular milk, my face started to look 10x better. Just my opinion!

5. Kraft Olive Oil Mayonnaise

I know this is a weird thing to love, but stay with me. I am a mayo gal 100%. Miracle Whip freaks me out (no offense to my MW lovers). But not only is this mayo reduced fat, but it is made out of olive oil which cuts out the saturated and trans fats. I’m not saying that this is the best mayo out there for you by any means, I’m just saying that it still has a great taste and is better for you than the regular stuff.

6. CocoaVia Unsweetened Dark Chocolate –>

I actually received this in a Klutchclub Box ( and had no idea what to do with it at first. But after I read about all of its benefits, like improving your circulatory system which supports cardiovascular health, I was determined to start using it. The cocoa comes in separate packets and each packet is 30 calories. I have started using them in my smoothies and oatmeal, and it is so good without being bitter like normal cocoa powder. I have a serious sweet tooth so anytime I can incorporate healthy chocolate into a recipe, I’m happy!

7. Klutchclub Boxes –>

If you’re wondering what I was talking about in #6, here it is. I discovered Klutchclub through a Living Social offer, and I am hooked. They are basically Birch Boxes except they are full of health and wellness items. You can just buy one box to see if you like it, or you can subscribe to receive one every month. I love looking for that box in the mail every month, and it introduces me to a lot of products I would have never known about!

8. Pumpkin

Again, another weird thing to love, but this veggie has recently found its way into my heart. I never really thought of pumpkin as a vegetable because the only time I ate it was at Thanksgiving…in the form of dessert. But I read an article about the benefits of pumpkin and realized that it is a low-calorie way to get a lot of vitamins I need. Pumpkin is an awesome source of fiber to help you maintain a healthy weight, it contains beta-carotene that can reduce your risk of cancer, and it also has more potassium than bananas which can refuel you after a workout! I’ve started putting pumpkin in my oatmeal in the morning or in a smoothie (you can’t taste it!). Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

9. Piloxing

This is a workout class I do on Friday afternoons at my gym, and I LOVE it. I always kind of stuck my nose up to group exercise cardio classes because I never thought I got that good of a workout in, but after taking piloxing I totally take that back. It is a mix of kickboxing, pilates, and dance, and it is super challenging, but everytime I look at myself in the mirror during a class I realize that I have the biggest smile on my face. I’m sure everyone me thinks I’m a total goofball, but I can’t help it. The music is fast and energizing, and the class forces me to work on my balance and core along with doing cardio. If your gym offers Piloxing, you should definitely try it!!

10. Blogging

It’s only been a whole 24 hours, but I can already tell I’m going to like this whole blogging thing. Even though I’m pretty sure I have 0 readers right now, it’s fun to write about what I want, and it serves as an outlet for me. If you are a first-time reader, and you are reading this, I hope you come back :).

…Now I Feel Silly

9 Aug

It has been less than 24 hours since I started my blog, and I already feel silly. I read my favorite blogs this morning and immediately thought “Oh wow, my blog is never going to be like that.” Followed by “What the HECK was I thinking?!”

But the way I look at it, I have two choices. I can either let feeling silly cause me to quit, or I can keep going and do something that makes me happy. I choose the latter :-). SO, I shall keep chugging along!

I woke up this morning completely confused as to how it could already be 6:30am. I was so tired and secretly thankful that I workout in the afternoons on Friday instead of the morning. (sidenote: I run Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings and take exercise classes in the afternoon on Wednesday and Friday for cross-training purposes.) In fact, I am pretty confident that the only thing that got me out of bed this morning (other than that pesky work thing) is my puppy Lily. I have serious doggy guilt as a first time doggy mama. If I don’t walk her every day in the morning, on my lunch break, and after work, I feel terrible. I mean, how can you resist this face?


So, I rolled out of bed and leashed her up for a quick 1.5 mile walk. There’s something about walking/running outside in the morning before everyone else is up that makes me feel peaceful. It’s so quiet and calm, and I like to use it to think about the upcoming day and what I need to get done. How adult of me, right?! But then, inevitably, the calmness is always broken by this:


Nothing makes Lily happier than finding a stick bigger than her body to drag around. This used to annoy me, but now it makes me laugh, and I let her do it for as long as she can carry it. I’m sure everyone in our neighborhood thinks we’re insane, but oh well. They’re just lucky I can even muster a smile that early.

After our short walk I came home ready for breakfast. Growing up, I was strictly a cereal only person. I would eat the biggest bowls of cereal before school and then wonder why I was hungry two hours later. It wasn’t until a year ago (sadly) that I realized that my breakfast had zero protein. I was just eating an absurd amount of carbs and sugar in hope that it would keep me full until noon. Now, I’m a huge fan of eating peanut butter in the morning, especially in oatmeal. After reading the blog Peanut Butter Fingers (Hi, Julie!), I decided to try flax hot cereal for a different spin on oatmeal. I ordered Sensato Hot Fiber Cereal from ( and was SO excited when I got it. At first, I couldn’t get used to the fine, grainy texture after eating oatmeal for so long, but I really liked the flavor. Now, I mix it in with some oats and peanut butter, and it’s become one of my favorite breakfasts! Paired with a banana, it was a perfect Friday morning breakfast.

Now, I’m at work and excited for the weekend. I think Ryan and I are going to a baseball game tonight since the weather is so nice. I don’t know what it is about drinking beers at a baseball game, but it just screams summer to me. I can’t wait!

First Post!

8 Aug

Today marks the first day of what I hope is a long journey of blogging. I am excited, nervous, and admit that I have no idea what I’m doing. (Hint: it took me a good hour to figure out how to edit a photo on WordPress). I admire so many healthy living bloggers because their blogs are so much fun to read and make me feel like I actually know them. I like to think of their blogs as a television series…only in writing. It’s fun to learn about different people and how they live their lives. I only hope you’ll think my life is just as interesting :).

I came up with the name Live Proud because my favorite mantra is “Live a Life You’re Proud Of.” I strive to do something I’m proud of everyday, even if it is something as small as running a little further than I thought I could or learning something new. I am a firm believer that every day has something good to offer, even if it is a little harder to see sometimes! My goal is to create a place that you look forward to visiting and that I create posts that make you smile, teach you something, or just merely entertain you for a few minutes. Please feel free to comment on any of my posts – I would love to talk to you!