You Choose Ryan’s Outfit (+ Q & A!)

In lieu of a dinner post, I hope you will all enjoy a fashion post!

Please join me as we take a trip back in time to the ’80s! 😀

Ryan is leaving on his bachelor party cruise tomorrow and instead of donning a spiffy suit on the cruise’s formal night, he and his buddies are dressing in formal ’80s attire.

Please help him choose his ensemble:

Option One:

Option One

Option Two:

Option Two

Option Three:

Option Three

To encourage participation in this serious dilemma, Ryan wants to offer one random commenter a prize: A personal thank you email from him. Isn’t he generous? 😉

Q & A: Round 5 Billion

It’s that time again! I’m catching up with questions you guys have submitted through my Q & A page or through the anonymous form. I’m almost all caught up! Woop, woop! 🙂

If I didn’t answer your question below, please check my Q & A page. I also may have answered it in a previous Ask Me Anything post and didn’t want to bore people with the same questions and answers every time.

Aaaand we’re off!!!

Do you ever experience the “afternoon slump” at work? If so, what do you do to get some energy?

Oh lord, yes. One day at work I said I had the “3 o’clock itch” which my coworkers found humorous for some reason. Now we all talk about having “the itch.” 🙂 To combat an afternoon slump, I always pack a snack to enjoy between 3 and 4 p.m. I find that eating something wakes me up a bit! I will also often make a cup of tea (mainly because it’s so darn cold in my office), which also helps me feel rejuvenated.

I have a hard time coming up with healthy snacks. Can you provide some suggestions?

  • String cheese microwaved on a whole wheat tortilla folded (a microwavable quesadilla!)
  • Cinnamon peanut butter chickpeas
  • Greek yogurt with nuts and fruit
  • Yogurt pudding
  • Apple or pear with peanut butter
  • Homemade trail mix (nuts, whole-grain cereal, peanut butter/butterscotch/chocolate chips)
  • Cherry tomatoes with goat cheese
  • Edamame
  • Popcorn sprinkled with protein powder
  • Sandwich thin with peanut butter
  • Healthy homemade chips and dip

Do you color your hair?

Nope. Never have.

Did you ever feel pressure to become engaged with you and Ryan were dating? If so, how did you deal with it?

No, I didn’t. Ryan never pressured me and my parents are all about taking your time and waiting until you’re 100 percent ready.

What is your favorite brand of peanut butter?

Though I love all the delicious gourmet peanut butters out there, I am a little partial to Skippy Natural peanut butter because it tastes exactly like the peanut butter we all grew up loving.

Have you ever modeled?

No. I was in a commercial when I was like 5 years old, but it was for the credit union my dad worked for and was only shown on local stations. I’m famous!!! 😀

Do your parents and Ryan’s parents get along?

Yes! Thankfully everyone gets along really well! My mom and Ryan’s mom actually got together for lunch a month or so ago without us. It makes me happy!

It looks like you’re pretty into reading labels and only eating things you can pronounce (awesome!) but then you use stuff like Splenda and sugar-free syrup which aren’t natural at all. Why not just use real sugar?

I wish I had some fantastic answer to this question, but my answer is simply because I like Splenda and I like sugar-free syrup. I like the fact that I only need a half a packet of Splenda to make my coffee taste as sweet as a lot of sugar since it’s sweeter than regular sugar. I also like that sugar-free syrup is typically runnier than regular syrup, which I find too thick and sticky and I don’t like how it doesn’t disperse over my pancakes as easily. I know Splenda is basically shunned in the healthy-living blogging world, but I like it and stand by my Splenda! I am a cautious eater for the most part, so I think a half of a packet of Splenda or some sugar-free syrup every now and then is a-okay… but that’s just me! You may make the decision that’s right for you. Splenda haters, feel free to ostracize me.

What time do you typically go to bed?

We try to be in bed by 10 p.m. every night.

Have you ever tried spinning?

Yes. I love spinning! I haven’t taken a spinning class recently though because my cardio workouts have been limited to running since I’ve been training for a half marathon. I’m excited to incorporate more spinning into my workout routine now that the half marathon is overrrr.

Does Sadie sleep in a kennel at night or is she free to sleep wherever she pleases?

For the most part, Sadie is free to sleep wherever she pleases, which is usually in bed with us. We’ll kick her out on occasion though and she’ll usually sleep on the couch or in our guest room.

Have you ever considered becoming a vegetarian/vegan due to animal rights or any other reason?

Yes, I have. I do, however, believe that we can make educated decisions about our meat and select meat products that come from farms (or the wild!) where animals are treated humanely. I have reduced the amount of meat in my diet significantly in the past year, but don’t want to put a label on myself. Sometimes I’ll go several days without eating meat without even realizing it. If I want to eat meat once a week or once a year, that’s fine with me, but I hesitate to fully declare myself a vegetarian because I believe I can still fuel my body with meat that comes from a good place that treats animals humanely.

What is your advice for someone looking to break into the public relations or writing field?

I get this question a lot! As far as finding a job in the public relations or writing field, I would highly recommend checking out websites for professional organizations such as the Public Relations Society of America (Florida folks can check out FPRA, too!) because many companies will post jobs there to avoid receiving applications from all different types of people that they may get by posting on craigslist.com or through CareerBuilder.com.

As far as writing jobs are concerned, when we’re looking to hire new writers at my company, I always look for quality writing samples (examples from class are great, too) because it’s very easy for someone to SAY they can write, but it can be a lot harder to actually find decent writers (it’s actually VERY hard). I strongly encourage anyone interested in writing to have some quality samples handy for this very reason! If you’re a student, try to write for your college newspaper or get something published in a local magazine so you have something tangible to bring to an interview. Also, if you’re familiar with certain writing styles (like AP), list this as a skill on your resume to alert potential employers of your solid base in a certain professional writing style.

***

I’m off to spend the rest of the night hangin’ with Ryan since I’m gonna miss him when he’s gone!

See ya in the mornin’!

The Purple Pepper (+ Q&A!)

When I posted about my Farmers’ Market finds on Sunday morning, you guys seemed very interested in the purple pepper I nabbed!

Well, here it is, it all its glory!

Purple Pepper

It was a one-eyed, one-horned flyin’ purple people eater…” 😉

Such a pretty pepper! When I spotted the pepper at the Farmers’ Market, I knew I had to give it a try. I love green and red peppers and the description said the purple pepper was a sweet bell pepper like the red and green varieties, so I had a feeling I would enjoy it.

Sliced Purple Pepper

I was surprised to see that the inside of the pepper was white! Crazy… and crazy delicious!

I enjoyed the pepper along with cucumber slices and a bagelwich made with avocado, Provolone cheese and spinach.

Avocado + Provolone

The Spread

Provolone & Avocado Bagelwich

I love this lunch. It was colorful, full of veggies and the addition of the avocado on my bagelwich made it seem a lil’ special. 😉

Of Possible Interest

Q & A Time!!!

It’s time for another Q & A post! After this post, I’m almost all caught up! Woohoo!

As always, feel free to post any questions you may have on my Q & A page or click here to ask me an anonomyous question.

Heeere we gooooo! 😀

Have your periods ever been irregular due to how active you are?

No.

How many boyfriends did you have before Ryan? This is really random, but it just amazes me how perfect you two look for each other.

Before Ryan and I started dating I had one other serious boyfriend, who I dated for a little more than three years.

What do you eat before and after doing cardio or strength training?

On weekdays when I workout at 5:45 a.m., I typically workout on an empty stomach because I get serious cramps if I eat within an hour of working out (and I’m not about to get up at 4:45 a.m. just to eat). If I work out later in the day, I’ll usually eat something like an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter or string cheese microwaved on a whole wheat tortilla (quesadilla-style).

My post-workout eats are almost always posted on the blog (my breakfast on the weekdays is the first thing I eat after working out). Typical post-workout meals include Greek yogurt with fruit, a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and banana or a smoothie made with fruit and protein powder.

Have you ever lost a significant amount of weight, or were you always this size growing up? You and you sister are so slim that I’m guessing you’ve never really had to lose 15 – 20 pounds?

I lost around 10 pounds about a year after I graduated from college. The weight loss occurred naturally (I didn’t count calories or change my exercise routine) and happened when I stopped eating Lean Cuisines and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all the time and discovered vegetables. I like to eat A LOT, and adding veggies to my lunches and dinners really helped fill me up on nutritious and voluminous foods, so I wasn’t starving an hour after eating.

Do you eat Larabars, Luna bars or Clif bars? If so what is your favorite flavor of each?

I am maybe the one person in the Blog World who doesn’t like Larabars all that much. I think they’re way overrated and they never leave me feeling satisfied (maybe it’s the lack of protein?).

I do like Luna bars (Lemon Zest & Nuts Over Chocolate are my favs) and Clif bars (Peanut Butter Pretzel & Mountain Mix are my favs) a lot! Their texture and flavors really appeal to me.

Random question: Do you make your bed in the morning?

Nope… Unless we have guests coming over.

How many magazines do you subscribe to?

I subscribe to Cooking Light, Clean Eating, Oxygen, OK! and O (the Oprah magazine).

Are you on Goodreads (goodreads.com)?

No, I never heard of it before this question, but the site seems awesome!

On average, how much do you spend on groceries per week?

My grocery bill is typically around $45 a week. Once a month or once every month and a half or so it’ll be significantly more when I run out of more expensive items like spices and cheese or pantry staples.

What kind of car do you drive? What was the first car you ever drove?

I’d rather not answer this question for safety purposes, but I drive an SUV and I LOOOOVE it. My first car was a teal 1994 Toyota Corolla that I loved with all of my heart. That car was the BEST! My sister got it after me and loved it as well.

What time do you usually wake up?

I wake up at 5:30 a.m. on most days. You may read about my morning routine here.

Do you think you’ll ever move away from Florida? If you could move anywhere for one year, where would it be?

I love Florida but I’m not so attached to the state that I would never move away. The thing that would really prevent me and Ryan from ever moving out of Florida is my family, his family and our jobs. That being said, if all things were perfect and our families would move with us, I could see us in North Carolina. We love all the parks, trails and mountains up there.

If I could move anywhere for a year, it would be to Hawaii. Please let me know if you would like to sponsor this endeavor. 😉

What brand of sneakers do you wear? I’m looking to get a new pair and your blog has motivated me to get out there!

I run in Mizuno Wave Riders. You may see my post about them here.

Where do you buy Carba Nada pasta?

I buy Carba Nada pasta online at Netrition.com. The site has $5 flat rate shipping, so I usually buy a bunch of things at once to make the shipping cost worth the expense.