Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Favorite Fitness Gear - Apparel Basics

We all know that when you have your favorite things around you, it makes things easier. For me, I have favorites for just about every area of my life. Since I have recommitted myself to my healthy journey, having all my favorite fitness things are a must. So here is the start of a mini series of all of my favorite fitness things!

First up is the Nike Free Run 5.0. I have tried several different running shoes, but nothing compares to these. If I am doing any kind of cardio, these are my go to shoes. Plus they come in some great colors. I just love that these are so bright.

Speaking of shoes, the Nike Free TR 3 FIT Cross Trainers are my go to training shoes. If I am doing a Crossfit workout, lifting weights, or even circuit training, these are the shoes I grab. They are so comfy.  I have these exact shoes, but I brightened mine up with a neon coral shoe lace. 

I mentioned the Under Armor Paralux Headband in my love list from last Friday and I still feel the same way about this head band. I have worn this for everything I do fitness related, and even non fitness things. If I am just lounging around the house, you can bet that I am wearing this!

Girls, we all know that we a good sports bra is key. When I came across the Incredible by VSX I was skeptical. I am rather large chested, so when it said "maximum support" I laughed a little because I doubted it would actually work for me. And boy was I wrong. I don't workout without wearing one these. They are a little pricey, but well worth the investment. 

I hate wearing thick socks. So when I found these Smart Wool PhD Run Light Micro Socks I was ecstatic. In my opinion, these are the perfect running sock. I wear these with my Free Runs only. Again, these are a little pricey, but well worth the investment. And they come in several fun colors.

These Nike Cotton Footies are my favorite though. I wear these with my Trainers. I love these. They are ultra thin so it feels like I'm not wearing socks at all, and that I really love. Bonus is these socks are perfect for running and sliding down our hall way.

Do you have any fitness apparel favorites? 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Our Love Story - Second Chances

Wanna catch up? Read The Beginning.

C and I graduated in 2007. The last memory I have of us in high school was C borrowing my eye liner to write his name in his cap right before the graduation ceremony. That was the last time I would see him smile at me for over a year. He sat right behind me during the ceremony. I promise we are both in that picture making a very similar face. Where's Waldo anyone?

After graduation, I ended up moving to Chattanooga for college, but only stayed a semester. I moved back to GA in 2008. That year for my birthday, I wasn't doing anything, and I got a surprise message from C asking if I was doing anything. He had plans on taking me out to dinner, but my dad called at the last minute.

Fast forward to April 2009. I was in another bad relationship. Seems to have been a common theme with me. The guy I was dating had lied to me about his faith, and I was pretty torn up about it. C and I ended up talking and catching up on what was going on, and it came as no surprise that he was there for me when I told him about the situation that I was going through. He gave me great advice, and promised he was there for me. I had gotten my friend back.

I had prayed about it, and made the decision to end the relationship. Faith is important to me and lying about his was a deal breaker. C and I continued to talk like old friends. After quite a bit of discussion, we agreed to hang out. That was when I saw his smile again. I knew the moment he smiled at me that I still loved him. Time didn't matter. He had stolen my heart years ago and never given it back. I still wasn't convinced about marriage though.

On May 24, 2009, C and I went on our 2nd 1st date.  It consisted of fishing, venturing through woods, and watching C flip off my mom's front porch. He picked me flowers and made me smile more than I ever had before. We went downtown and danced in front of the radio station, something that quickly became our favorite thing to do.

We spent as much time together as we could.  We tore apart a car that he was going to rebuild. We spent time hanging out and riding a mini dirt bike. He said "I love you" first in his parent's driveway, and I replied with a smile. I said "I love you" 2 days later after I had spent every moment praying about it. On June 6, 2009, we attended his brother's wedding. It was that morning when he picked me up that I knew I could spend my life with him. I had said "I love you" in high school, and I meant it, but something was different this time. I knew I wanted to marry him. I wanted to spend every moment with him.

In mid July, he jokingly asked me to marry him on his front porch. I jokingly replied yes. We spent most of our time laughing together and talking about everything. He took me rock climbing for the first time. We spent several nights dancing downtown like on our first date. Our relationship was built on laughter and hugs, lots of hugs. We grew together. Little did I know that our dating time was coming to a close. 

The Proposal coming next week. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2104 Resolutions : How I am doing

If you recall, I posted my resolutions at the beginning of the year. I figured 2 months in was a good time to check in and see how I was doing.

1. Go to church more and grow closer to God. : C and I slacked on our church going. Most of that was my fault because I had some serious frustrations I had to get over. It is really important for C and I to get back into church and to grow in our own individual relationships with God as well as our marriage relationship with God. 

Now : I think we have made it to church once or twice. We have had have so much going on or we have traveled that it has been hard. We both agree this is the big priority right now. 

2. Make my marriage a priority : C and I struggled quite a bit in our relationship this past year. We has some really really really big storms come through our life and we are still working on getting back on track. So it is important to me to make my marriage more of a priority. 

Now : I can honestly say that this has been a HUGE success. We have both been working together to make our marriage better, and we could not be happier with the progress.

3. Take more pride in myself. : I am lumping all it in one here. I want to get back to eating healthy, exercising more, actually taking the 30 minutes it takes me to get ready instead of sleeping those extra few minutes. 

Now : I've been eating remotely healthy all year so far, but it took me a month and a half to really get back to exercising. But I am going strong now! I take the time to get ready more often, but still not often enough for my taste. I still need to work on not sleeping until the last second. 

4. Read 100 books. : They can be books I have already read, or new ones, but I want to read more instead of being on social media or in front of the TV.

Now : I have had a hard time finding time to read, but I got my Kindle charged and ready to go for when I finally force myself to sit down and read. 

5. Simplify my life. : We have so much crap that C and I have just gathered over the past 4 years, and we started the process of getting rid of it all in December, but it has carried over to 2014. We are going to get rid of the crap and stop buying things we don't need. 

Now: We are still going through and getting rid of tons of stuff. We only buy things we need or things that have been on our list for a long time, like a rug for the hall. We have really cut down of excessive spending on things that are not important.

6. This resolution included talking about a little bit of our financials, and I have decided to remove this from my blog for now. 

Now : I've decided not to share this on my blog anymore. 

7. Learn a new skill. : Last year, C and I bought a bow and some arrows and we used it once. I've been talking about learning a new skill for a while, and I really want to do that this year. It can be learning how to use a bow and arrow, or it can be a new language. I simply want to learn something that no one can take away from me. 

Now : I still suck at using the bow and arrow. I would still love to learn that skill, but I am focused on becoming a runner right now. I have never been a runner of any kind before so running is a skill I would love to have!

8. Get more organized. : After such a hectic past 6 months, I am in some serious need of getting organized. I had such a hard time finding what I needed the last few months, and I don't want that to happen again! 

Now : I am so much more organized now! I can't wait for spring cleaning to kick in though because I really have a few more areas that really need tackled. 

9. Become more self sufficient. : C and I talked quite a bit about this, we both agree we want to become more self sufficient. We plan on starting a garden, and actually growing something, along with making our own mixes (cake, seasonings, etc), breads, sauces, etc. 

Now : Since it is isn't gardening season yet, we are just in planning mode still. 

10. No buying clothes/shoes/jewelry for an entire year. : I saw another blogger do this last year, and I am vowing to do it thins year. I spent so much on clothes, and I got so many clothes for Christmas, and I don't wear half of them. So I am challenging myself to not buy any of it all year. Obviously with working on getting healthy, some weight will be lost, and I might HAVE to buy some clothes because I will need stuff that will fit, but I have saved some gift cards to use, and so I plan on using those for that. I am really going to try and not spend anything other than gift cards on clothes, and that is only when I have no other choice. 

Now : 2 months in and I have to say I am so so so proud of myself! I have only purchased 2 sleep shirts from Victoria's Secret because I had 2 $20 credits that were going to expire and I really needed new sleep shirts. I have not purchased any jewelry, shoes, or clothes other than that. And I have no plans to until I need to because my clothes are too big. I have saved so much money by not buying so much stuff I don't need! 

I can't wait to see how this looks in a few more months! 

How are you doing on your resolutions?

In-Laws and Anniversary Plans

My weekend recap wasn't written until Monday night. Fail. Anyway. C and I had a great weekend. Hopefully this means that all those crap weekends are long gone. Friday night, we made fajitas like we do every Friday, and we worked out. We even went running. Talk about success! 

Saturday, C's parents came for a visit. They told us they would be leaving their house until around 1-1:30 pm. So C got up and headed to work to help his boss with something while I laid in bed until exactly 8:30 am. From there I proceeded to speed clean my house. So around noon, when they call and tell us they are on their way, I can assure you there was a look of pure shock on my face. I hadn't even showered yet or gotten to clean the dining room. Now, my house isn't dirty, I am just overly OCD about how I want it to look when we have company, like the book has to be turned an exact way or I fix it 10 times. 

We half clean (half shove stuff in another room) the dining room, and I take the quickest shower I ever have and we head off to Costco to make sure we have everything for dinner, and meet his parents. Eventually the stress of not having a spotless perfect house wore off, and I started enjoying the time we were spending with his parents. We fixed dinner, and laughed some more. And then they had to leave.

Here is a quick version of why what happens next is how you can tell my in-laws came for a visit. When his parents came up before Christmas, his mom or dad hid one of my Christmas decorations. I laughed at it, and decided to turn it into a game. One that I knew C and I would always win. So the next 2 times we were at their house, we turned anything we could get our hands on upside down or backwards. And I mean everything. We went into every room and did that. And it was hysterical. We laughed for hours about it. I forgot about payback. 

After they left Saturday, these are just a few of the things turned upside down in our house. 

Good thing is I think we found everything. Sunday we did meal planning/prep and grocery shopping. Then we decided to start working outside. I mean it was 70 degrees and I did not want to be inside. Throughout the day, C and I talked about our anniversary. It is his turn to plan it this year, and he said he wanted to go out West. Then we decided to just do something small to save a little money. This weekend, he told me to think about a cruise. Well, that is what I wanted to do, but I was not going to tell C. conversations later, we picked a cruise, held a room, and Tuesday it will be booked! It is the exact same cruise we went on last year, so now that we know what to expect, we are planning excursions/spa treatments/etc. I am so excited! I'm going to try and finish up my recaps from last years cruise soon. And I am going to try not to let planning for this cruise take over. 

I hope everyone had a great weekend! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

What do UGA, 31, and UA have in common?

They are all on my love list this week! I've been slacking on my love lists this year. But this week, I had a hard time limiting it to just 5 things! If you read yesterday's post, then a lot of this will not come as a surprise. 

1. UGA Tervis : I love Tervis! I have been a huge fan since I discovered them back in 2009. I've started a collection of them. Ironically enough though most every Tervis we own is a UGA tervis. I spotted this gem a month or so before Christmas and I just knew I have it. I mentioned 2 different ones to C for my Christmas list, and he got the other. So when I saw it again before Valentine's Day I mentioned it again to C, and I was surprised to find that he got it for me. I'm pretty sure C gets sick of me washing it every day because it is the only one I am using right now.

2. Thirty One Thermal Lunch Tote : I did some serious meal prep this past weekend, and these thermals have been a life saver. I've had several from years past, but I now have my eye on this new print. It is perfect for spring.

3. Under Armor Paralux Headband : I hate the single UA headbands, so when I found the 3 braided ones, I tried them, and I fell in love. So when I saw these, I figured I would give them a shot. And it is a good thing I did because they are now my new favorite. I love that there are 2 braided strands. I feel like they stay put better.

4. Running : Okay, for me it is more like jogging and walking, but I'm improving. Usually I would only get out to "run" once a month or so, but I've already been twice this week. It would have been more if it wasn't for the rain and a migraine. I'm hoping that my love for running grows. I didn't realize how great of a stress reliever it was.

5. C : I love him everyday, but ever since I started to write our love story, I remembered all the reasons why I fell in love with him. Sometimes he can get on my last nerve, and most days that is what happens, but at the end of the day, he is exactly what I need to balance my life out. He makes laughter a constant in our lives and I could not be more grateful. Sappy I know, but it is true.

Have a great weekend y'all!

Linking up for Five On Friday

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Starting over for the last time.

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote this post. The level of commitment I had to my fitness at that point was astonishing. I was living, eating, drinking, breathing fitness and a healthy lifestyle. I worked my butt off for a solid 4 months and dropped 25 pounds. Then I slacked for a few months, but never gained the weight back. I got my grove back at one point and was just as committed as I was in the beginning. Then a massive storm hit my life pretty hard. I haven't shared the details on it, but it was pretty devastating to me. It essentially ruined all the hard work I had put into getting healthy. From that point on, I gave up hope. I felt like everything that was great had been stripped from my life, and I wasn't worth the effort anymore.

I gained back all the weight. I would still exercise every now and then, and a few times I even recommitted. Nothing though gave me the motivation I had in the beginning. Until now. Well, last weekend to be exact. Things had been set in motion before hand, but last weekend sealed the deal for me. So here we are. I am starting this journey all over again. Hopefully this is the last time I will have to start all over again. So now for some embarrassment...

Before :  As of 2/14/2014

Age : 24
Height : 5'7''
Weight : 214.8 lbs
BMI : 33.6 - yikes...

Chest : 44.5
Waist : 38.5
Hips : 45.25
Upper Arm (R) : 15.25
Thigh (R) : 27.5
Calf (R) : 18

Jeans/Pants : 16 and a few 14
Shirts : Mostly XL
Bra : 38D
Dresses : XL or 16

I will use MyFitnessPal off and on to track my food. My username is Caitlinlong1023

If you are on a fitness/healthy living journey, I would love to hear all about it! And feel free to follow along with my journey as well!

Linking up for GF-FC-BH!

Fit + Fab

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Our Love Story - The Beginning

I have been debating on if I actually want to write this, and after much consideration, I figure why not? So here goes.

In order to start our love story, you need to take a journey with me all the way back to 2002.

I had just moved to GA, and started a new school. I didn't know anyone, and honestly I liked it that way. In math class though, there was an extremely loud boy who got on my nerves. Ironically, 8 years later I would marry him.

Fast forward to 2006.

That's my husband guys... How is it that in just 4 short years, I got to marry this guy? 

Anyway, I need to get back to 2006. C and I were introduced in May of 2006. We were both Juniors in high school, and I had just successfully tried out and made the colorgurad team for our band. C had been in band since the beginning of high school. All the Spanish classes were hosting a Cinco de Mayo party, and the Latin class that C was in also got to come. My teacher had given me permission to skip the party, but I still had to bring some kind of food. As I dropped mine off, C was there, and we were introduced. Since we were going to be spending the summer together in band camp, my friend decided we needed to meet. Though I am pretty sure that there were different motives. I was dating an awful guy at the time C and I were introduced. My friends didn't like my current "boyfriend", and they made it obvious. When C and I met, a friendship formed that I never knew I needed. I had found a life long friend. 

Fast forward to summer and band camp. C and I had become good friends. I talked to him about how I was stuck in a horrible relationship and I needed out, but I was scared to break up with the guy. I promise I am not exaggerating how bad of a relationship it was. He was there for me to talk to and he didn't judge me. He was always a shoulder to cry on when things got rough with "the boyfriend." In July, I finally said goodbye to "the boyfriend." Soon, C and I started dating, and this became our song. (Jason Aldean - You're the Love I Wanna Be In)  

I've always been there every time he let you down.
I caught your fallin' tears before they hit the ground.
But I just heard somebody say that you finally told him goodbye.
Well, girl now you've finally made your move, now I'm here to make mine.

I wanna be there when you wake up,
Be more than just your friend.
Baby there's no mistakin',
You're the love I wanna be in, ah yeah.

I've kept my feelins under lock and key.
Couldn't let you see them even though it was killin' me.
You can't imagine all the time I spent wishin' you were mine.
I just know if we ever kissed, we'd go crazy, baby, for the rest of our lives.

I wanna be there when you wake up,
Be more than just your friend.
Baby there's no mistakin',
You're the love I wanna be in.

We dated for a while and I fell in love with him. We spent many nights talking on the phone from 8 pm until 5 am. We talked about everything, but soon a girl got in the way. She wanted C, and everyone knew it. It eventually tore us apart. But C and I never lost touch. Being in band, it was difficult to not talk to someone. We stayed friends. We talked often, and he was still always there for me. And we still did things together. We went to homecoming together, and he invited me to family gatherings. We weren't officially dating again, but we might as well have been. I loved him. He was the only one that I have ever loved. He was the first guy I said "I love you" to and actually meant it. Sure, I said it to "the boyfriend" before him, but that was out of fear not feelings. I always considered C my high school sweetheart because we were "together" for the majority of my senior year, and I didn't date anyone in high school after him. When I think about high school, all my memories have him in it. But even though I loved C, I never imagined marrying him because I never planned on getting married. Little did I know that he would change that in a few short years.

Second Chances coming next week

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Finally a great weekend.

This weekend was the best. Friday, I snuck off to buy C's Valentines's day gift. A little late? I'd say so. I picked him up Chesty for his GoPro that he got for Christmas. He has asked for it several times already, and to be honest, I was tired of hearing about it, so that is what he got.

When I got home, C gave my my gift. We usually don't do anything for Valentine's day, but this year we are both making and effort to make things extra special for each other. C had picked me out flowers which were beautiful, and he made me a "C Box." I participate in the Cara Box Exchange and C knows just how much I love it, so my gift was based off of that. He did a great job. And I appreciate it more than he knows.

Saturday, we got up and headed to Costco. We had been throwing around the idea of getting a membership, and we finally broke down and got one. On the way out of the house, we noticed that Fred was still hanging around. 

We spent hours at Costco just walking around and enjoying our time together. We planned to buy several things for freezer meals and meal prep, and we did. We came home, and made our freezer meals and I meal prepped snacks for the week. We then became super lazy and laid around eating pizza while watching the Olympics. 

Sunday, we spent the day cleaning out the garage. Something that is long overdue! We spend 5 hours doing major cleaning, but at least now it is almost done. We then went out to eat with the family celebrating a birthday for J my step brother and T my younger sisters boyfriend. After, A, my step sister, C, and I headed out to a local track to get a little exercise in. We did 3 miles in 45 minutes with a 5 minute cool down. We are training for the Dirty Girl 5K Mud Run. We did it last year in 53 minutes, and we are trying to do it in under 45 minutes this year. 

All in all, it was a very productive weekend. I hope you guys had a blast this weekend!! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Winter Strom Pax

Last Wednesday, I got a text from my boss telling everyone to stay home. Free day off? I'll take it. Chattanooga was calling for a little bit of snow, but I highly doubted that we would get anything. So I crawled my happy butt back into bed and slept for a solid hour. It was glorious I tell you, glorious!

When I woke up, I wasn't surprised to find that it had started to flurry. I figured we would get flurries, but I just knew it wouldn't stick. I did laundry, cleaned most of the house, and actually got to have lunch with C. After he headed back off to work, I noticed that the flurries had tuned into massive snow flakes, but it still wasn't sticking to the ground. I finished cleaning the rest of the house, went through some of my  photography pictures, and decided that I had earned a nice bubble bath (4:30 pm). As I had finished cleaning the kitchen, right around 4, I had noticed that snow had stuck to our back porch, but it was just a light dusting, and it still wasn't on the actual ground yet.

Fast forward to 5:30 pm. C is home, and I am trying to decide which sweat pants I want to wear. Tough decision. When C walked in the room, he asked me to look outside. I did. I was shocked. It had snowed and stuck to the ground, but not just anything, It was already around an inch. I immediately switched from sweat pant to workout gear. I had secretly been wishing for snow so I could go for a run. I'm crazy. I know.

I had bundled up pretty good, but nothing could prepare me for the freezing rain in my face. I made it a 1/3 mile, and decided I was done. As I got back to the house, it dawned on me that we had to build a snowman because I was just certain all the snow would be gone in the morning. 

So C built Olaf...

Needless to say, Olaf was not up to my high snowman standards. We decided to get Chaco and let her enjoy some of the snow, and she was just not having it at all. She was less than impressed with all the fluffy white stuff now covering the ground. Who forgot to tell Chaco that we love winter and snow in this family?

After we took her inside to get warm, C and I set off to destroy the pretty fresh fallen snow in the yard in hopes of building the best snowman in the neighborhood. I'm a master snowman builder. My snowmen always last the longest. Just ask my sisters what happened with our snowman in the blizzard of 93'. 

I had to work pretty hard at teaching C how to build a great long lasting snowman, and when we were finished, I was in love. Meet Fred! 

Because we had not gotten a lot of snow, Fred was full of snow and leaves. We continued to play in the snow making snow angels, having a snowball fight, and rolling down the hill. It was a winter wonderland for sure! I couldn't be happier with the hour I got to spend outside in the fluffy goodness. 

I'd like to add that it was an amazing workout!! 

After we got inside and warmed up, we ate dinner, and relaxed while watching the Winter Olympics where they were complaining of temps that were too warm for the snow. Ironic isn't it. 

I got up to just glance outside, and I find that where we had used all the snow to build Fred was filled in by a fresh layer for snow! I immediately went into little kid mode because this meant that the snow would in fact last until the morning. 

It also meant that it was time for snow cream. I had set a bowl out on the back porch in hopes that we got enough to make snow cream, and boy did we. 

The recipe I used is :

Snow Cream

4-6 cups of freshly fallen snow
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of powdered sugar (or more depending on your taste)
1 cup of milk

Combine and serve in a mason jar topped with whipped cream.

We went to bed with visions of snow flakes in our head. It was still snowing pretty hard when we went to bed. We left the curtains and blinds open so that we could watch the snow. I was not prepared for what I would find when I woke up in the morning. My boss had told me that we were on at least a 2 hour delay for work on Thursday, and C's boss said the same thing. So when I woke up at 8, I woke up to this...

Almost 7 inches of snow!! C called into work, and his boss said that they were closed for the day, and I talked to my boss, and he let me stay home as well. We weren't able to make it out of the neighborhood just yet anyway. We had a tree that had fallen in the back yard, but it was the most beautiful winter wonderland that I had ever seen first hand. It felt like it was straight out of the movie Frozen! 

We bundled up and headed outside. We blew up our snow tubes, and headed out to sled. It was a blast, but I only walked up the huge hill once. It wasn't quite the workout I wanted first thing in the morning. 

We came back inside and ate breakfast. C's coworker called and asked if C needed him to come get him, and C called his boss who told him that he had decided to open anyway. Though C and I had both planned to take Friday off, both our bosses agreed to let us have Thursday off instead. We finished breakfast, and headed back out in the snow to have a snowball fight of massive proportions. It was the most fun ever. 

At about noon, the snow on the roads had melted, and so we decided to venture out for lunch. Everywhere was short staffed, so we weren't the only ones who got the day off to enjoy the snow. Unfortunately though, lots of people were out of power. 

We spent the rest of the day just shopping around and enjoying each others company. We cherished that day more than most can realize. C and I hardly ever get to spend a day together where we have nothing planned. I am much happier with the outcome of Winter Storm Pax than I was with Winter Storm Leon.

I hope those of you who had snow enjoyed the fully stuff as much as we did! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Where I have been for the past week.

It is Friday already. AND it is February! How did that happen? Honestly, I thought this year was just slowing going by, but then I turn around and we are a week into the 2nd month. How?

I haven't been around much these past 2 weeks, and the reason is simple. I have been exausted. I took a little break that wasn't planned. At work, I am the only one in charge of end of year stuff, and so the first 3 or 4 months of the year are alsways stressful. Expecially the last week of January. So I have been exausted. Not to mention that C caught a cold this past weekend which he so kindly gave to me on Wednesday, so my evenings have consisted of getting home from work, eating dinner, then passing out by no later than 8 pm. And I sleep until at least 7 am. It is the only thing about this cold that I am loving.

Things around the Long house are changing. Obviously, getting healthy will always be something going on in our house, but beyond that, there are a lot of changes. We are working to get out of debt. We are also starting to prepare for the spring because this year, we plan to be sucessful with our garden unlike last year, but beyond that, there are some much bigger changes going on, though I can't spill the beans about any of that just yet. But those are all my plans, our plans. This morning as I was driving to work, as I crossed Soddy Lake, I saw this.

It reminded me that God has plans for me, for us. Plans that are much bigger and much better than the plans that we have for ourselves. After the horrible 3 weeks that I have had, that though is so refreshing. It brings me a new sense of happiness. 

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend! 


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