Friday, September 30, 2011

This Ain't No Thinkin' Thing

Can anyone name the artist that sings that song?  Read this post to find out if you were right!

Fitness for life is a two credit gym class I am taking this semester that requires me to hit the cardio for a minimum of 20 minutes on Wednesday and Friday every week.  This week I decided I wasn't feeling the treadmill so I jumped on the stationary bike.

Wednesday I had a dead iPod so I just pedaled away while trying really hard to not stare at the timer on the bike.  Let's just say that it was the longest and toughest 30 minutes of my life.  I was always varying the resistance and slowing down and speeding up.

If I had my iPod it would have helped some but I've noticed even with running on the treadmill music just doesn't cut it when it comes to getting me to forget about the timer.

Today I still had a dead iPod but I happened to see my Kindle as I was getting things packed up at work before heading to the gym.  I decided since I'm not taking as much time to read now that school has started why not use my gym time as reading time?

I had a scare when I got set up on the bike after turning my Kindle on - it said my battery is low plug me in!  No, it didn't really say that exactly but close enough.

I rolled with the punches though and just decided to use it until it died on me.

My Kindle returned all of the love I give it by surviving 31 minutes and only reminding me one more time that it wanted to be connected to some juice.

If you follow me on Daily Mile at all you already know that I was 20 minutes into my workout before I checked the time.  Even better is it felt like I had just gotten on the bike a minute ago.  Even better still is I "went" farther than I did on Wednesday and kept the resistance the same at 10 for the entire workout.

On my drive home I realized working out ain't no thinkin' thing!

When my head is involved in my workout I don't preform as well as I know I could.  Wednesday is a prime example - varying the resistance and speed because my legs were "tired/sore" or whatever and the time was going by super slow.  Same thing happens with running.  I stop running long before my body truly says it can't take me any farther at the pace I'm going.

Today proves the point that half - or more of - the battle is mental.  Because my mind was occupied with what I was reading I didn't have the ability to worry about the time and my legs being "tired/sore".  Sorry brain guess what?  My legs felt the exact same way as they did Wednesday and I didn't need to slow down or make it easier!

I am not sure that I could run while reading my Kindle so for now I am going to stick to the stationary bike but maybe sometime I'll give reading a shot while I'm running.  Stationary bike, you and I plus third wheel Kindle have a date next Wednesday at 11:45am - see you then!

Questions for you...

How do you overcome the mental battle in your workouts?

Do you read while running/biking on gym equipment?  (Please don't try reading while running/biking out in the "real" world!)

Currently listening to...

Ala-Freakin-Bama - Trace Adkins - album: Cowboy's Back in Town (see some pictures I took of Mr. Adkins at Country Fest in June here

If you guessed Trace Adkins as the artist who sings the song I used for my post title you were correct!

I just have to add another song to my "currently listening to" for the day!  Brown Chicken Brown Cow - Have you seen the music video for this??  If not watch it now!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baking Experiment

Saturday was a day filled with baking for me.  I was finally going to try out a recipe that had been calling my name for a while.

I found the recipe for a Red Velvet Cake at How Sweet It Is.  You can see the recipe I followed here.

The cake was paired with a Cream Cheese Frosting originally but I decided to use another frosting recipe I found at How Sweet It Is, a White Chocolate Frosting.  You can see the recipe for the frosting here - along with some yummy looking brownies.

I baked this cake under the supervision of my grandma.  And let me tell you it definitely came in handy to have her around when one of the cake pans overflowed a bit while baking so when it was time to remove the cake from the pan it stuck.  My grandma came to the rescue and got the cake out!

Here are some pictures of the finished product.
Thanks G-ma for making it look pretty!
mmmm frosting
Definitely a red cake!

Overall there were mixed reviews of this cake.  My mom had trouble getting past the red color.  I personally didn't think the cake had much of a taste to it - probably due to the small amount of cocoa?  I always thought a Red Velvet Cake was a chocolate cake that's colored red.  My dad ate it and thought it was alright.  One of my aunts thought it was really good.  My uncle enjoyed it as well.  My other aunt is a bit picky and nothing about the cake thrilled her at all - not even the white chocolate frosting because it was too "stiff".

This was the cake I thought I would be taking to work for a food day but after this run through I decided not to.  I decided to make a Devil's Food Cake with the same frosting.  Yesterday I spent the day at my grandma's baking since I would have no time today to bake and frost a cake.  Tomorrow is the big day where I get to find out what my co-workers think of my baking skills.

I'll probably do a post including the recipe that I followed sometime soon after the food day tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

Questions for you...

Do you enjoy baking or cooking more?
Have you ever made a Red Velvet Cake?  How much cocoa was in your recipe?
Currently listening to...
Baggage Claim - Miranda Lambert

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tattoos On This Town

In my last blog post my currently listening to song was Tattoos on This Town by Jason Aldean.  The music video recently premiered and after watching it I just had to share it with y'all.  It was not what I was expecting for that song but it was still amazing.  Warning, it got my emotions flowing!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Feeling Frazzled

It's finally Friday!!  I am so ready to begin my weekend but wish I didn't have a long to-do list of homework to do.

In case you missed any of my posts from earlier this week...
Funny Story & Bowling Night
We shouldn't be Facebook friends if...
Wednesday we are not friends

What I want to write about today started on Wednesday morning.  As I mentioned in my Wednesday post I have a long day and as a result need to take a lot of things with me to work/school.  It was as I was scrambling that morning to put together my bag of clothes and backpack that I realized I was feeling really frazzled, disorganized, and just not prepared - every day not just that morning.

The main reason I think I am feeling this way is my room is a mess.  I've been saying for weeks now that I would clean it and get it in good shape so I could use it as more than just a place to sleep - *cough*homework*cough*.  I am definitely going to at least take a step in the right direction this weekend and begin the process of cleaning my room.  Wish me luck with this one!

Another reason for feeling unprepared was the fact that while I made a checklist of things I needed to pack for the day I would have been better off just packing everything the night before.  Due to trying to get enough sleep every night I've changed the time my alarm goes off every morning - setting it later so if I get up when it goes off I have enough time to get ready but not so much time that I think I can use the snooze button a lot - and because of that when I use the snooze button a few times - but still better than I used to be about it - I put myself in a time crunch to get ready and leave in time to be to work on time.  Because of this time crunch I put myself in I'm racing around after getting ready for work to find everything that's on that checklist of mine.  As I was driving to work it dawned on me that if I would just pack everything I need for the next day the night before even if I was in a time crunch I wouldn't have to worry about forgetting anything.  I will be giving this a try next week.

I have a plan so now it is time to put that plan into action!

Step #1 - Clean room
Step #2 - Organize room
Step #3 - Pack things for the day the night before
Step #4 - Get to bed between 10 and 10:30!!
Step #5 - Get out of bed when alarm goes off - DO NOT USE THE SNOOZE BUTTON!!

Easy enough right?  Now I just need to follow through - my downfall in achieving things I want to in life.

Questions for you...

Do you prepare things the night before so you can just grab it and go?

Do you keep your bedroom/apartment (depending on your living situation) clean all the time or do you let it go sometimes and then do a big clean to restore order?

Currently listening to...
Tattoos on this Town - Jason Aldean - album: My Kind of Party 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday we are not friends

Before I get into my pile of homework I brought to school with me today I wanted to give my readers yet another post!  I seem to be on a roll with keeping up on the blog so why stop now right?!

Anyways... This past Friday I posted about getting enough sleep and my poor habits that lead to me feeling less than 100% - you can read it here.  Thanks to all of your lovely comments about how you figured out when was the best time for you to hit the hay and how many hours of sleep you need I decided I would try my hand at getting to bed by 10:00pm to wake up at 5:45-6:00am.

Sunday night I managed to get myself to bed by 10:30pm - not bad, still 7.5 hours of sleep.  Monday night was horrible, I didn't go to bed until after 12am.  Why?  Because I decided since I was sitting around at home all day Tuesday I didn't really need to worry about getting to bed at a decent time.  I still got 8 hours of sleep but I still felt pretty tired throughout the day.  One of those weird things where even though I got "enough sleep" it was at the wrong time of night I guess.  And now last night I got to bed at 10:30pm - not the time I was shooting for but again not bad.

Thanks to the lovely Caitlin @ Going 26.2 I know that it takes 2 week to form a new sleep habit so I need to be patient to see if this 10-10:30pm bed time is working out for me or not.

Even though I'm still feeling tired in the morning and throughout the day I am noticing that I am getting out of bed in a more timely manner than I was before so that's improvement!

Besides talking about my sleep habits I also just wanted to throw it out there that I'm really starting to dislike Wednesdays.

As mentioned last week in my Mission Accomplished! post I have gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - Monday being in the classroom and Wednesday and Friday being activity days.  Because I also have class from 5:30-8pm on Wednesdays I have to workout and then stay at school until class is over that night.

It sucks!

I do my best to freshen myself up by using dry shampoo, body spray, facial cleansing wipes (which I also use on my body), and of course a change of clothes but it still doesn't make me feel the greatest for staying in public.

Yes, there is a locker room but I'll be honest, I've never been in it and I'm not comfortable taking a shower - if there is one - at school.

It's times like these that I wished I lived in town!  I would then be able to go home after gym to shower, eat, and do homework until it was time for class at 5:30.  Could this also be a bad thing as I would then be distracted by the TV and doing other things?  Definitely, but look at me now - I'm blogging instead of working on homework!

There!  I feel as though I've told you all about the important things going on in my head right now.  Oh wait!  There is more but I'll save that for another post because this one has already gone a little long.  And let's face it, I need to get down to business homework.

Questions for you...

Do you have a least favorite day of the week with your current schedule?

Currently listening to...

Redneck Side - Justin Moore - album: Outlaws Like Me (Can you tell I like Justin Moore yet?)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We shouldn't be Facebook friends if...

...we were at one time "friends" and I "un-friended" you. have requested multiple times since then to become my friend again and I have not confirmed your request. don't like me and talk crap about me.

...I don't like you because of what you've said/done. probably only want to be my "friend" to snoop into my life.

Those were basically my thoughts when I woke up yesterday morning to yet another friend request from a girl that as you can see I don't care for.  There is much more to this story than I am telling you but I'm not sure I want to get into that on my blog.  Maybe some day, but maybe not ever too.  Facebook can be an awesome way to stay connected with friends and family but it also has it's downside.  The downside(s) are the reason I've backed away from Facebook and don't actually post as much, like status updates, as I used to.

Question for you...

Have you had a repeat friend requester that you don't plan on ever adding as a friend?  Did you do anything about it besides ignore the request?

I'm currently listening to...

The More I Drink - Blake Shelton - album: Pure BS (This should have been my song for my bowling post no?)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Funny Story & Bowling Night

Good morning!  I hope everyone has had a fantastic weekend so far and if you're a football fan your team wins today - unless you're Hollie since we know the Pack has to win today!

I'm going to start you off with a funny puppy story from this past week.  Thursday night I was ready to watch some of the shows my DVR had been recording for me - you can read more about that and the consequence I paid for doing that here.  Bo followed me downstairs but eventually went back upstairs.  I wasn't worried because I knew my mom was still watching TV in the living room upstairs.

Well, Bo is stealth like when he wants to be.  Whether he did this intentionally or not Thursday night I guess we'll never know.  Anyways, he managed to sneak past my mom and go down the hall to my parent's bedroom.  My dad brought Bo up on the bed where he stayed the entire night.

When my mom was ready to go to bed she found Bo in her spot and decided since he didn't move she would sleep on the couch.  Needless to say my mom was not amused but my dad and I found it quite funny.

How can you be mad at such a cutie?
 OK, so Bo isn't that little any more but it's the only sleeping picture I have of him.

Moving on...

My department at work planned a group outing for Saturday night to go bowling.  Not everyone came as some had other plans but the group of us that did go had fun.  Thanks to my boss we bowled for 2 hours, had a pizza, and 2 pitchers of beer for free.  I discovered that I bowl better the more I drink.  i started off well with a 130 the first game, a 128 the second game, and the third game I really kicked butt with a 175ish.  I honestly can't remember the exact score of that last game.

When we were done bowling three of us made our way to the bar to continue the fun.  Luckily my parents were going into town to drop some fish off for my grandma so I told them that they could come pick me up so I wouldn't have to drive home.

It was a fun night and I'm glad that for the most part our department gets along well enough so we can go out these kinds of outings.

We decided we have to go out again soon because the Brewers were playing and for every home-run they got we got a card and if you collect 4 of them you get a free drink when you buy one.  We pooled our cards together and ended the night with 8.

Now today I need to work hard to focus so I can be productive and cross some things off my to-do list for school.


Questions for you...

Do you have any funny puppy stories?
Do you ever think alcohol makes you preform better at anything?

Currently listening to...
We Owned The Night - Lady Antebellum - album: Own The Night 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Getting enough sleep??

Good Friday morning!  I am a few hours away from the start of my weekend and I am pumped.  I would actually be more pumped if I wasn't feeling so tired right now.

Things just fell into place for this blog post to be about sleep today. 

We'll start at the beginning though with last night.  After getting home from class and watching some TV with my mom (Castle marathon to catch you up before the new season starts) I watched three of my DVR'd shows before going to bed which happened after 11pm.  It's fall so all of my favorite shows are starting back up and there are still those shows that are in the middle to end of their season already that I'm still trying to keep up on.  I love having a DVR so I can record the shows I would be missing because I'm in class or because I'm watching a show on another channel.  But there is a downside to a can only hold so many shows at a time!  So, if you don't watch what you record pretty soon you're running out of room to record new shows.

With my night classes I don't get home until 8:30ish twice a week so that is definitely cutting into my TV watching time, forcing me to rely on my DVR to record more shows than ever.  Not necessarily a bad thing because then I can watch them when it's convient for me.  On the flip side though I usually spend time that could be devoted to homework by catching up on the week's shows.  Being more disciplined about doing homework before watching TV is something I'll be working on this semester.

Maybe I'll reward myself with being able to watch one TV show for completeing the week's work for one class when I am home?

Anyways, moving on...

Because I stayed up past 11pm watching TV I got about 6 hours of sleep which doesn't seem to be enough, or isn't at the right time of night, considering when the alarm went off at 5:30am I hit snooze like it was my job for an hour until finally getting up at 6:30am.  Ever notice that getting say 8 hours of sleep, say from 10pm to 6am feels totally different in the morning than say getting 8 hours of sleep by going to bed at 1am and getting up at 8am?

By getting up at 6:30 this morning I only had a half hour to get myself ready and on the road to make it to work by 7:30.  A half hour is not enough time for me to get ready without feeling rushed, and potentially forgetting to take something crucial to my day with me.  If I would wake up at 5:30am I would have plenty of time to get ready, and even have some chill time to check email, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever I feel like doing with that time.  But in order to wake up at 5:30am and not feel like complete crap because I am soooo tired I need to start getting the right amount of sleep.

This brings me to the question of the day.  How do you know what the right amount of sleep is for you?  I can't remember a time in my life where I felt like I was waking up refreshed from getting the right amount of sleep, or if I do I don't recall how many hours of sleep that actually was.

Alexis over at Daily Ramblings was just talking about this yesterday.  For her 7.5-8 hours of sleep per night isn't enough.  As she put it her body needs a solid coma to functiont he next day.  Read her entire post here.

Getting the right amount of sleep is an essential part of leading a healthy life because let's face it, when we run ourselves down and don't get enough sleep we're more likely to get sick, be irritable, and a whole bunch of other bad junk.

So, I'm asking for your help readers...answer me these questions.

How did you find out what the right amount of sleep was for you?

What are your tips to making sure you can get that right amount most of the time?  It's not a perfect world so I realize that there will be times that getting the right amount isn't in the cards.

What's your typical bedtime, or that range you usually hit the hay during, and what time is your usual wake up call?

What I'm currently listening to...
Sunshine Babies - Justin Moore, album - Outlaws Like Me (I miss summer & flip flops!!!)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Follow me!

I just had to share the good news, I have 2 followers of the blog now!  The little things in life excite me can't you tell?

If you read Living and Learning please follow the blog.  I would love you forever if you did.

I'll be back later with a "better" post, promise.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

Wow it's about a week and a half since my last post!  Since that post I've started the fall semester at school so I am sure you fellow college students can understand how that could have gotten in the way of blogging.

This semester I am taking a total of 15 credits.  My schedule looks like this...

Mondays - Work 7:30-11:30, Fitness for Life 12-12:50

Tuesdays - No work and no class = homework day at home or day to make appointments

Wednesdays - Work 7:30-11:30, Fitness for Life 12-12:50, Personnel/Human Resource Management 5:30-8:00

Thursdays - Work 8-4:30, Principles of Finance 5:30-8:00

Fridays - Work 7:30-11:30, Fitness for Life 12-12:50

Then half way through the semester I will replace Principles of Finance with Ethics in Business.  Because they are only 8 week courses the material is covered very quickly and you have tests very quickly, sometimes back to back weeks.

Despite having a full course load and lots of work for each of those classes, except for Fitness for Life, I can make time to blog.  I will be working on that from now on because I find it useful to blog about what's going on my life because this wonderful blogging community always offers their advice and support.  I can't thank you enough for the past advice and support you've left in the comments of my previous posts.

Anyways, moving on to what the title of this post is all about.  Fitness for Life is a 2 credit gym class I am taking this semester and as an evaluation of where we are at currently we had to run a timed 1.3 miles (approximately) through the park.  The professor told everyone to shoot for less than 20 minutes.  I pulled it off in 19:07!  I was really happy with this time because honestly I really haven't worked out since last October.  You can read more about my run over at Daily Mile (see the widget to the left?).

Weather permitting we will be running that same route again at the end of the semester to see how we have progressed in our fitness level.  Since it will be December in Wisconsin I am not counting on having to run it again but we'll see.

The rest of the semester every Wednesday and Friday we are required to do at least 20 minutes of cardio in some form.  We can do more than 20 minutes if we want but if we only do 20 minutes we need to fill the rest of the class time with something else fitness related, like strength training.  I am going to take this opportunity to get on the strength training bandwagon because I know it's important and I've been slacking in this area for a while my entire life.

Now that I've written this I suppose I should hit the books.  Hopefully I don't get distracted by the internet!

Currently listening to: Hell On Heels - Pistol Annies

Questions for you...

Are you required to take any type of gym in order to graduate?

Do you strength train?  If so, how did you get started?

Should I continue to post what I am currently listening to?


Friday, September 2, 2011

Country Fest 2011 - Part 1

It is finally here, part 1 of my Country Fest 2011 recap!

Thursday June 23rd began with some last minute packing and prepping for the drive to our hotel.  Once everything was loaded in my aunt's Ford Explorer we went to the bar for lunch before hitting the road.  I was the one who had taken care of ordering the tickets and printing them so I was the most important person to have along.

After checking into our hotel room and dropping our bags off we headed out in search of the Country Fest grounds.  My mom and aunt had been there once before when I was still in the single digit ages so we were relying on their memories.   Not that we got lost be we started second guessing how far it was from the little town of Cadott.  After using my smart phone to look up the address and plug it into my navigation we realized had we just gone a little further we would have found the road we needed.

Due to it being the first day traffic was backed up quite a ways, and got worse the later it got.  We passed the time by playing Paper Toss on my mom's phone.  Even my aunt was playing despite being in the driver's seat.

We arrived while the first act was preforming.  It was supposed to be Ashley Gearing but she was replaced last minute by someone who I can't remember since I didn't actually get to watch.

After getting our wrist bands for the weekend and finding a parking space we went in to get our wrist bands for the reserved seating area and find our lawn chairs, which we got to take home at the end of the weekend.

Once drinks were in hand we settled in for Joey and Rory, who I thought was two girls until seeing them and realizing that they were a very cute married couple.  I didn't take any pictures of them, sorry!

Next up was Lonestar.  Some songs you may know by them are; Amazed, I'm Already There, Walking In Memphis, and No News.

Lead Singer

Following Lonestar was the Redneck Woman herself, Gretchen Wilson.  Some songs you may know; Redneck Woman, Here for the Party, California Girls, and All Jacked Up.

Gretchen Wilson is also on tour with Big & Rich, maybe other artists as well I can't remember, and it is her band that plays for them so they started playing Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy which the whole crowd sang.  It ended up being the best sounding "sing-a-long" of the whole weekend!

And last but not least was Mr. Trace Adkins!  Some songs you may know of his are: Fishin', Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Chrome, and Arlington.

Great Jumbo Screen shot huh?
Nice pants Trace ;)
During one of his last few songs my mom, aunt, and I gathered our things and started walking to the car.  Getting out of the grounds was so much faster than getting in just a few hours earlier since almost everyone was already checked in.  We drove back to the hotel and I quickly fell into bed and went to sleep.

One thing I didn't mention is that it rained that first day we were there.  It wasn't enough that we had to hide in a building or anything but it was enough that you wanted a rain jacket and the chairs were wet.  Obviously it didn't impact our day that much as I didn't even think to tell you about it initially.

Well, there you have it, day one of Country Fest 2011.  Stayed tuned for part two soon!

Have you seen any of these artists in concert before?  Of the artists I saw that Thursday which is your favorite?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Family Picture Day!

Exciting news today here at Living and Learning!  Well I think it's exciting news anyways.

Last night I started (finally!) typing up part one of my Country Fest 2011 recap.  I was hoping to have it all typed up before going to bed but of course pictures started taking forever to load and I just wasn't going to wait for them any more.  I'm hoping that either tonight or tomorrow part one will be posted!

And now for the other exciting news...

This past Saturday my parents, Bo and I finally got to meet Bo's dad, Henry!

R-L Sydney (mom) w/ Mark, Bo w/my dad, Henry (dad) w/Jon
Bo also got to see one of his sisters, Hooby (like Scooby but with an H and no C), and one of his brothers, Spencer, who Mark and his family decided to keep of the litter.  I wish I had more pictures for you but I don't because someone, I mean me, has misplaced my camera battery charger.  Pictures with my phone just don't turn out the best.

And it's hard to take pictures of the puppies when I had an English Setter named Miley sitting on my lap pretty much the entire day.  I tried to get Bo to pay attention to Miley so he could learn to be a cuddler but it didn't work out so well.  Probably a good thing considering Miley was 27 pounds and Bo is already 25 and still growing!

Bo was a full 5 pound heavier than Spencer so I'm crossing my fingers that Bo will have more of his dad in him than his mom.  It may be hard to tell from the picture above but Henry resembles Duke a lot in looks and size.

Duke 4/22/11 83lbs
Henry and Duke look alike because they have some common breeding in them.  In fact, Bo's grandpa Hubert was also at the field dog trial (where we all met up because Henry was running) is in Duke's breeding and was Henry's dad.

There are talks of trying to get all of the puppies back together this winter some where so everyone can see how the others are doing.  So hopefully we'll get a chance to see Hooby and Spencer again along with the rest of the siblings.  There are 9 total from the litter.

Monday I received an email from Mark saying that they received many compliments on Bo from other Gordon breeders and other people that were at the field trial.  Guess we picked a good puppy huh?

I want to share this with you but it has nothing to do with Bo or dogs at all.  Friday night my family went to my grandparent's house for a fish fry.  While there I had the pleasure of meeting Wyatt.

Hi there!
Normally my uncle wouldn't keep a bull calf but because he's a Red Holstein Wyatt found a spot in my uncle's heart and they're going to keep him.

Wyatt knows his name and is just the cutest thing ever.  Don't you agree?

Aw shucks, you're embarrassing me.
Hey! Where's the milk?!
Paige is creeping in the background of that last picture.

Sorry for getting random on you here at the end.

I hope everyone is having a great week so far.  Can you believe it's the first day of September already?!  I know I can't believe summer is coming to an end already.

Happy Friday Eve!