Shark Weekend

 

 

A day in the life of Army Paisley… Civilian style:

My days immediately start with a shower and then a big breakfast.

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This particular morning I couldn’t make up my mind between salmon and almond butter… so I had both. I also have a cup of coffee. I never finish it, but it’s next to me while I’m getting ready.

I be-bop to music while I put my make up on. I set two alarms for after I’m already awake. One for 7:45am as a reminder “you have 15 minutes before you need to leave the house.” And then another at 8:00am “You need to leave, like NOW!” It ensures that I get to work in time. There have been so many mornings when I look at the clock and think, “CRAP! I’m already 5 minutes late to work!!! AHHH!!” I hate those mornings so I choose not to re-live them.

Then I get to work by about 8:15am. Check my email, chat with my co-workers and then dive into my plan for the day.

These days my plan in literally all mapped out for me…

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At some point I stop for lunch. Rarely do I eat out, unless I’m riding with a manager. So I bring my own lunch. It’s usually something really simple that I threw together that morning. This day was mixed lettuce with lunch meat, leftover chicken and goddess dressing.

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I also stop for a drink around 3pm. My typical choice is a Starbucks tea, but this day it was a cherry limeade slurpee. I’m not usually a slurpee fan, but I made a big exception for this glorious flavor!

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Later I’ll snack on something before heading back to the office around 4pm. Strawberries or coconut flakes or zuchinni or trail mix.

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And on the days that I’m struggling… a cake pop and iced coconut coffee will do the trick!

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Between 5:30 and 6:30 I leave the office and head straight to CrossFit. I change at the gym and hang out with my “box friends” until class starts. Or I catch up on blog reading, facebook or phone calls.

By 8pm I’m on my way home to make dinner, shower and go to bed.

But on Friday nights… It’s a little different…

Last Friday I finally made it out for the night.

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I met up with my “box friends” at Rock Bottom… a brewery in Campbell with delicious beers!

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I had two of the White Ale’s. Yum!

Saturday

Justin and I made a day trip to Monterey, CA. It was pretty toasty here in San Jose… so the sub 60 degree weather by the water was perfection!

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I sported BOTH sweaters. I’m kind of a wuss.

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Of course we found ourselves at the Monterey wine tasting room.

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I was impressed by everything at “A Taste of Monterey” EXCEPT for their wine. No thanks… I’ll just pay for the tasting. No bottle or glass for you two? No, just the tasting, thanks. Blah. Call me a wine snob. I don’t care.

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But the view at the tasting bar was spectacular! Yes please!

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Justin and I took a very long time deciding if we wanted to spend the $35 each to go to the Aquarium. I knew that if I didn’t go, I would have been disappointed. So we spent the money. Would I have done it again? No. But I would have regretted it had I chosen to pass.

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No doubt, the display was amazing. Just a little too many people for my viewing pleasure… if you know what I mean.

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The sharks… so cool!! My favorite was the hammerhead!!

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I love all the schools of fish swimming together. It always looks fake to me. Like they’re in a trance or something.

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And uh, giant turtles!?! Hello adorable!

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It was so much fun. But simply hanging out with Justin was the most fun.

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For the fellow long distance-ers out there… I feel your pain.

But thank God for the weekend. Cheers.

XO

Paisley

San Jose Refresh

Ever had one of those days where you just feel like pouting?

Maybe you shattered your brand new phone?

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And then you went to go see if you could get it fixed… and learned that it would cost you another $200, minimum.

And then things start to turn around…

Boyfriend tells you that he might be able to fix your screen for $28.66.

Instead of wallowing in my frustration, I put on my walking shoes. (And a VERY colorful ensemble.)

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While on this walk, I started thinking…

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Because that’s what people do on walks: think. I really do love San Jose. I do. And I got to thinking of all the great things about living in the bay area.

Bay Area Greatness:

  1. The landscape is beautiful. There are so many trees, green grass and TONS of flowers. Just walking around my neighborhood is gorgeous.
  2. Amazing running territory. There are so many places to run — places that I’ve yet to explore.
  3. San Jose is only 30 minutes from the beach. Enough said.
  4. Beautiful people. Tons of fun restaurants and bars filled with young professionals. I like pretty scenery.
  5. Not too far from my family. I can drive home (parents house) if I need to. But far enough to be “away.”
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When I got home from my walk, I was feeling happy, energetic and ready to cook something!
A few weeks ago I bought a tub of Trader Joe’s Chicken Curry Salad. It was delicious. I put it on salads and had to pry myself away from eating the entire tub in one sitting. Last night I went on a hunt for a similar recipe, this is what I found:

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It was delicious. I did my own rendition, of course.

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MY Chicken Salad:

  1. Dump drained chicken in with mayo, TONS of curry, garlic powder and pepper.
  2. Add big scoop of almond butter.
  3. Throw in a 1/2 cup of trail mix.
  4. Mix, enjoy!
With all this fresh air, I was inspired to do some cleaning too…

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Okay, maybe not cleaning, but definitely soaking. This silver/grey wristlet is great, but gets SUPER dirty, fast. A little dish soap and elbow grease should do the trick!

Later, I whipped up a very, very green smoothie.

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In the mix: coconut water, coconut milk, frozen kale, frozen banana and vanilla. Cold and refreshing — hit the spot!

I went to bed feeling happy and refreshed. All it took was a walk and a self pep talk. It’s amazing… all those studies done by doctors — well, they actually know what they’re talking about! Fresh air and exercise is the perfect medicine for the mind.

Have you ever had a day where exercise made all the difference? Was it just a funky mood?

I know that exercise makes me feel better, yet sometimes the hardest part is simply putting on my running shorts!

XO

Paisley

“Pulling Up” Mental Discouragement

November 2010 I started CrossFit at CrossFit Sac in Sacramento. Coach Dave opened my eyes to a whole new world/concept that most of us now know as CrossFit… or, “the crazy heavy weight lifting stuff.”

[Dave giving me a high 5 as I assume the “recovery position” (dead on the floor).]

In the beginning of my CrossFit adventure, I often felt and looked like this… tired, out of breath and defeated.

I still do.

Pull ups were always a goal and challenge for me. I dreamed of doing consecutive pull ups and mastering that skill. I first started with a green band. Over the next few months I moved up to smaller bands.

And then one day, I didn’t need the band anymore! I remember the first day that I got an unassisted pull up… I screamed. Out of sheer excitement. And then I did them every time I came to the box.  I was so proud of myself for finally getting a pull up. I overcame many obstacles that day. But primarily, I proved… once again, that with hard work — I could get what I wanted.

And that “girl” hands weren’t for me.

In December, I was the strongest and fittest I had ever been.

I was doing CrossFit 5+ times a week, running, yoga… truly over training. But was having a blast.

And then I left for Arizona.

CrossFit was no longer a part of my life. I tried my best to do body weight work outs, use the pull up bars, run, etc… it just wasn’t the same.

When I got home, pull ups were gone. I was using the band again. As much as I hated admitting it, I was really upset about this. I would say, “It’s the journey, right? Not the destination?” But I still felt sad that I had lost strength. That I had missed out on 5 months of CrossFit. And that I couldn’t do a fricken pull up anymore!

A few weeks ago, I found my pull ups.

And a new job.

By losing and then finding my pull up again, I realized something: I am in control of my happiness. I can make changes in myself and ultimately have what I want. If I don’t like a job, I can work hard and change that. If I don’t like that I can’t do a pull up, I can change that. My new CrossFit coach, Courtney, told me the other day, “Life is to short to spend it unhappy.”

I don’t like to spend too much time on the CrossFit bandwagon, but for me… it’s so much more than a workout. It makes me a better person in all areas of my life: Relationships, career, sleep, motivation, and so on. A simple concept such as a pull up has spoken volumes to me about what kind of person I am. I’m competitive, type A and persistent. I work hard for what I have. And at the end of the day, what I have is family and friends who love me.

Oh, and a pull up. Thank you very much.

Today, it’s about overcoming mental discouragement. Taking little bites at a time. Planning and working towards goals.

God + CrossFit

XO

Paisley

 

Good Stuff

I love writing the Things I Love posts… but some of these things aren’t products. It’s just GOOD stuff. Stuff that happens in my life that doesn’t always find a spot in the blog. But definitely deserves one.

– Baby ducks. I spotted these guys on my way to breakfast the other day. So stinkin’ cute.

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– Mexican ceaser salad. Never knew it existed…

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– Copious amounts of honey dew. And I mean copious. This time I added some fro-yo to the top. I love that my work gives free food — which includes frozen yogurt.

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– Chocolate mint water. I waited a very long time before I tried this stuff. But oh em geeee!!! It’s so amazing. It’s literally like drinking chocolate. I usually drink 3 every day I work. Chocolate wasted, anyone? ha…Oh and those shoes in the background. I finally got them fixed at the shoe repair store (there’s one right by my house)… and I’m probably going to wear them every day for a week. I’ve missed them. It’s like getting a new pair of shoes!

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– Sitting outside at work on sunny days. The weather is so perfect. And I work in such a beautiful area. I’m a lucky girl.

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– My new phone. And looking at that picture every time I use my phone. (Check out the weather… jealous??) hehe

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– This guy. Many of you know me personally. With that, many of you know the history of Jay and I. Here’s the skinny… Girl meets boy at age 15. Girl and boy fall in love. Girl and boy fight like the Notebook. Girl and boy can’t stop loving each other. Girl and boy give up fighting. 7 years later… Girl and boy are happy.

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XO

Paisley

What are you loving these days? 

Giant Dipper

On Monday night, Justin arrived at my apartment. We quickly headed to Trader Joe’s for all the ingredients for these: Cherry Mojito’s.

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Jacqueline accepted a drink as well. It was agreed, we’re definitely cherry-mojito fans.


I also made an easy dinner of sweet potato wedges and GF panini’s.

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Can you tell I love my grill??

After dinner, and a few more Mojito’s… Sean, Jacqueline, Justin and I played a game…

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I honestly can’t remember what it’s called. But here’s the basics: a “fill in the blank” (kind of like MadLibs) is put down. Each player puts a card face down that they think corresponds with the black “fill in the blank” card. The person, or judge then gets to flip over each card and decide which answer they like best. Whoever the card belongs to, they get the black card for that round. The one with the most black cards at the end of the game wins!

I didn’t think I was very funny at first, but soon got the hang of it. At some points I was laughing so hard that I was crying. It was an amazing Monday night. I’d say the first “roomie” night ever!! 🙂

The next morning Jay and I headed to Santa Cruz. We spent a few hours on the beach. We wanted to stay far away from the boardwalk… but couldn’t resist any longer.

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We found ourselves in a long line filled with excited high schoolers. I LOVE the Giant Dipper. I could ride it over and over again. I don’t know if the ride itself is the fun part… but I think it’s a mixture of all the Santa Cruz memories and great times that I’ve had there.

This day was no different.

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And away we went!! WEEEE!

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After the beach we went to CrossFit West Santa Cruz. I’ve been to that gym before, so I was excited to go back. Jay was stoked because it has this huge fake grass strip in the middle. It’s literally the “Disneyland” of CrossFit gyms.

We loved the gym and coaches both so much that we even bought their T-shirts! I’m not biased towards any CrossFit gyms… except for my home CrossFit Envy. But one of my favorite things to do is go and visit other gyms in different cities and states. I think it’s cool that almost every CrossFit gym has the same look and feel. Working out is only a small portion of CrossFit culture.

I’m especially fond of CrossFit West because while I was there on Tuesday, I learned that I didn’t actually lose my pull ups. They had AMAZING pull up bars (aka: the kind for small grip girls like me). I hopped right on and knocked out about 10. I jumped off and turned to Justin, “DID YOU SEE THAT!?!?!”

About a week ago I was really sad with myself because I couldn’t do pull ups at CF Campbell. Being that I took some time off from CrossFit, I immediately attributed this to a loss of strength. Although some of that is true, turns out it was a bar issue. I’m used to a smaller bar!

I’ve found a home at CrossFit Campbell here in San Jose. They don’t have the pull up bars that I’m used to — so my goal is to master pull ups at the big boy bars too. This whole idea proves my point that pull ups are a technique issue, not always a strength thing.

After CrossFit, Justin and I headed back to the apartment to wash off all the sand and sweat. And headed to dinner…

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Wednesday morning it was back to work for the two of us. Bummer. But we had a great few days. I’m really starting to love the bay area. ESPECIALLY this 70 degree weather. I’ll take that all summer, yes please!

XO

Paisley

Stability Ball = Amazeballz

Ever heard of using a stability/yoga ball as a desk chair? Livestrong talks about it here.

They even did some studies at a few schools by replacing chairs with a stability ball.

Well…. IT’S AWESOME!!

The last two days at work I’ve been sitting on a ball instead of a chair. At any point during the day, you can find me bouncing or doing ab crunches on the stability ball. Where did I find it? Aimlessly wandering the conference room at work. Towards the end of the day my lower back started hurting. Turns out you’re supposed to “gradually” ease into this ball/chair shenanigans. Oopsie. I’ll take a break from it tomorrow.

Speaking of… Fitnessista gives a very thorough post on all the different exercises you can do on a stability ball. (Most are not work-appropriate, if you know what I mean…) All are great at the gym or in your house for a quick at-home workout.

All this stability ball craziness was getting me pumped up for my yoga class last night at Willow Glen Yoga!! I went to the 5:00pm class. After researching local yoga studios, I felt that WGY was one of the best reviewed. Lately I’ve been relying on yelp reviews. I don’t always listen to them, but they’re a huge help when you’re BRAND new to a city (–except for the fact that I was born here, nbd). Sometimes people get on there and just rip a business to shreds. I think it’s their way of getting back at the company over ONE bad experience…  I try and read the positives and see if what that person liked jives with what I’m looking for.

As for WGY, all the positives jived with everything I was looking for in a yoga studio… plus it’s close to my house!

The “Level 2 Vinyassa” class was exactly what I needed. It was lots of leg stretching and tons of flow. I’m definitely a fan.

Before yoga, I swung by TJ’s to grab some ingredients for a few Ella-inspired recipes. I love her blog because she’s always coming up with deliciously-healthy-looking recipes. Her blog has been one of the primary reasons I’ve been missing a fully-stocked kitchen, as well as this blog. Well, up for trial is her PB ella bars.

I’m a huge fan of Larabars, so her ella-bars were a no-brainer. They’ll be great for grab-n-go.

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The bars are currently waiting for me in my refrigerator. But I can tell you right now, the batter was amaaaaaaaazing.

I also made a batch of gluten-free banana muffins. And dinner. It was a cooking kind of night.

Today Justin is coming for a visit. SQUEEE!! We’ll probably do a repeat of the last visit. With some added CrossFit time.

Hope you all have an amazing week!

XO

Paisley

The Lake is Baaaack!

The other day I was tasked with a mission: Find white bedding.

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Instead of leaving the store with bedding… we left with pillows. Go figure.

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And an evening at the lake. Bedding can wait, right?

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Ever been pillow shopping? I have a few times. And I’m convinced that the only way to truly find the right fit is to just lay on the ground and see for yourself! And if anyone looks at you like a weirdo… they’ll quickly understand the necessity of trying it before you buy!

Today:

After 10 glorious, much needed hours of sleep, I rounded up the running gear.

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And headed out for a 4 mile run around my town. It was only 60-ish degrees which was perfect running weather. It’s been so hot here all last week, I was grateful for the change of temperature.

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G.I. Jane and I decided that a lake day was much over-due. Ice tea and rainbows? Looks like a perfect afternoon.

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We looked at the lake from the shore. Way too chilly to swim.

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When I got home I did one of Jillian’s workouts. Since I’m in limbo with my whole living situation, I can’t commit to a full month of crossfit. Therefore, at-home workouts and running are still on my agenda. Well, with the occasional class…

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Jillian kicked my butt, as usual. But I was excited because I got to use REAL hand weights… instead of water bottles. I’m so moving up in the world.

I also finally had internet connection ans was able to purchase the Nike Training Club app. I’ve been wanting it for months now and just never got around to it!

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Tonight MommaG and I got frozen yogurt. Delish!!

Tomorrow I’ll finally get to go see/ride my horse Benson!! Miss that guy like crazy!

XO

Paisley

Something to read: Don’t have “time” for a workout? Great tips on how to find/make time.

Warrior Dash 2012

Saturday AM = CrossFit Works in Tucson

Um hi sexy coach Chris. And hi bad ass gym. Why didn’t I come here sooner!?!? ugggggg! It was so much fun! I was there for 2 hours. “Okaaaay. Now we’re going to do cleans. Okay now we’re going to do a ‘test’. Okay now go run 800 meters. Tired yet?”

I’m beyond sore. But I think I’m just weak because I seem to ALWAYS be sore these days.

But yah, CrossFit Works is fantastic. And it’d definitely be my box if I lived in Tucson. But I don’t, so at least I got to enjoy it ONCE while I was here. A great way to finish off my glorious Tucson weekends.

After CrossFit I checked into my hotel, showered and went out to do what I do best… shop. I needed to make a special trip to Trader Joe’s for Ryan. I mean, the guy is fighting a war in Afghanistan. It’s the least I could do.

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I’m still LOVING my hair. And finally got to wear my new yellow shirt that I got in Phoenix with my mom.

I also saw Safe House, the movie. With Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Um… hello sexy man!

Yes. Please.

Sunday Morning = Warrior Dash!!

As every good morning does, it started with a coffee.

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And running clothes. I stuck with black. It tends to do better in the mud… ha.

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If you look really close, you can see my “CrossFit hickey’s” from the barbell. OUCH.

After some minor navigation issues, Philip and I made it to the race. Barely!

The run was a blast. There was a TON of obstacles. And everyone around us was having a really great time. I loved the energy and motivation. The costumes were fun too!

After crawling though 2 feet of mud… my shoes had seen better days. I was perplexed. To throw away, or not. I decided to chuck them. I added to this monstrous pile! Gross, right?

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And so it was… hot and muddy.

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Warrior Dash was awesome. They might of had me at “free beer” — but the mud was fun too.

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After being pressure washed by fire hoses. Literally. We paid a visit to my favorite, In N Out. And yeah… I ate the WHOLE bun. Kill me.

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Super cool souvenir… a wrist band. It’s like I went to a club.

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And the shirt is awesome!!

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Now I’m putting together the Afghanistan packages.

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And eating copious amounts of cookie butter.

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Because it tastes like cookies. And butter. And my goal is to be 200 lbs. Obviously.

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Because I’ve heard that I’m “0% body fat. And one big muscle with twigs for arms.” Love ya too, bullies!

Mud runs are a blast. But it’s not so fun digging mud out of unspeakable locations. And wringing mud out of your Lululemon shorts… yah I just cringed a little bit too.

XO

Muddy Paisley

Packing?

Today involved too much cuteness.

Exhibit A:

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Exhibit B:

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Exhibit C:

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Stephanie and I paid a visit to the pet store and got to play with puppies and kittens. I was in animal heaven.

The cocker spaniel was my favorite. She looks JUST like my childhood dog, “Penny.” My parents got Penny when my mom was pregnant. And she lived for 13 years!

We also got well-deserved pedicures and had lunch at the Greek restaurant. I had a gyro pita. Yum!

It was the best 4 hours of the entire week.

Afterwards I started packing.

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Let me repeat myself… I STARTED PACKING!! It feels like not too long ago I was packing to come here!

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Totally surreal.

It’s looking like I’ll be able to fit everything. Barely. Good thing I lugged a bunch of stuff home 2 weeks ago. I’d have a hefty UPS bill if I hadn’t.

Tonight I’m laying low because this weekend is a fitness extravaganza!!

In the morning I’m going to Tucson’s CrossFit Works… for the first time. I figure it’s fitting. You know, visit a CrossFit gym during my 16th weekend (last) here.

I decided that I NEED one of these:

And so does Dianna.

Because we have a growing collection of traveling CrossFit t-shirts. And I’ve yet to re-pay her the favor. 🙂

Oh. And she’s picking me up from the airport — again. Because she thinks I’m awesome.

I’ll also be doing a sunset run with Steph tomorrow night. We’re thinking Rillito river or Sabino Canyon.

Sunday is the Warrior Dash.

I hear it’s kinda cool? We’ll see… Mud and obstacles… the new fitness craze these days.

Something I love:

XO

Paisley

Army Thoughts

Today is proof that working out makes everything better in my life. Fact.

Mood. Energy. Happiness. All good stuff.

Today’s Army PT workout:

5 rounds:

  • 5 pull ups
  • 10 tricep dips
  • Run 1/3 mile

It was awesome. Except for the fact that I can barely do pull ups nowadays. But I’ll get them back in a few weeks when I start doing CrossFit regularly again. (EEEEE!!! 🙂 ) No worries over here!

Today:

My computer in class refused to allow me to access anything (powerpoint/Microsoft word) so there was a lot of hanging around for me. The techy-experts were in trying to figure it out which took roughly 3 hours. awesome. I love sitting around with nothing to do.

Frustration city.

Lunch:

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Crock pot pork and brussels 😀 with tomatoes, goat cheese, olive mix (MommaG would be proud), arugula and goddess dressing. Couldn’t finish it. Couldn’t finish my oats this morning either. Food is uninteresting lately. (Not to mention, I’m so sick of these hideous plates/bowls. 2. more. weeks.)

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Clean eats all over the place. Miss Jillian must be inspiring me. Or something? Or… Maybe that cute new bathing suit I got a few weeks ago?

Tonight:

Calves = tight, firey knots. Therefore, 6 miles was out of the question. Jillian took care of me. I was a sweaty mess after her little 20 minute workout. No wonder those ‘big loosers’ lose so much weight. She’s fantastic. I’m definitely a fan considering after the workout was done, I turned it off and flipped Glee on! At-home workouts may be a new thing for me. Me likey.

My Dad is cool. Like this is news to anyone. He sent me this picture:

I got those for him for Christmas. 54-years-old, does CrossFit AND stylish? Abso-freakin-lutely. Mom wears TOMS. And they wonder why I’m a shoe-addict. weird.

I want to cut my hair. Like, real bad… and be blonde again, like this:

But I don’t have the balls to do it. It’s taken me 3 years to grow out my hair. Then again… it’s super thin and damaged so why is it long, anyways?

Dancing at the wedding last weekend:

Darren and I are top left… I kinda love this picture.

Something to do/read:

Grocery lists of WHOLE FOOD and a workout you can do on a bench or chair!

XO

AP