Big Bloggish News

Hi there! I’ve got quite the exciting news for you today, so let’s get going!

If you’ve ever read a post here at The Daily Graze, you’ve probably figured out very quickly that I follow lots of blogs and absolutely love to read about a variety of topics like faith, food, fitness, and sometimes fashion. It has taken quite some time to discover and compile my favorites, and it is a process that is constantly happening as I stumble across new bloggers through instagram, pinterest, and other blogs.

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Even though I absolutely love the excitement of perusing the internet for new content, I know not everyone has the time or desire to do that, and that’s where an amazing new site called Bloggish comes in! Bloggish was created by two recent college grads, Alyssa and Virginia, and compiles a grouping of favorite blogs related to faith, lifestyle, and health & beauty. Alyssa and Virginia were inspired by faith to put this little space together as a way to connect readers and bloggers to a community of love and encouragement. I cannot express my joy to be a small part of their project, and I especially cannot wait to see how the Lord uses these bloggers to show me more of who He is!

Whether you’re an avid blog reader or have never opened one in your life, you must check out this site! I hope you’ll feel the love as much as I do and that through Bloggish, we can all discover, inspire, and encourage each other in this crazy, fun little life journey we’re on!

I hope you’ve all had a very happy Monday! If I make it through Wednesday, a picture recap of the past two weeks plus a healthy blueberry scone recipe are coming for you. Now go checkout Bloggish, watch the Maroon 5 Sugar video, and since yesterday was World Compliment Day, tell someone how much they mean to you! Seeya soon! 

Fitness Gadgets: Worth the Purchase?

Hiya friends! For a quick life recap since the last time I chatted with you, I’m in my last semester as a Marketing student at UGA. Still running, reading lots of blogs, trying new recipes, and getting back into a little routine at the beginning of this new, hectic final semester as an undergraduate. It’s definitely a crazy time in life with big life decisions ahead, but I’m super excited about it all. It’s pretty fun to be in a stage of life where I have the ability to look for jobs and move pretty much anywhere. Cheers to that!

While sending out resumes, tutoring some pretty great people, and working on all 18 hours of classes, I’m still trying to gear myself up to train for a race. I’ve already decided to focus much more on speed for the next one, so I’m not registering until I know I can commit to doing my best. In the meantime, I’ve jumped on the gadget trend to keep me motivated to always be moving during the day and to keep an eye on my sleep trends. After researching all the options (FitBit, Jawbone, Nike Fuel, Garmin VivoFit, etc.), I went with the Jawbone UP24.

Here are some things I’m loving thus far:

  • It’s pretty stylish (or at least as stylish as a black band can be). It looks sporty, and it’s not too big. Also, the charging portal is easy to use, and UP24 is comfy enough to sleep in.
  • It’s easy to check the app on my phone to see how close I am to reaching my 10,000 steps goal, and I’ve gotten an idea of what a typical day on campus looks like with regards to my activity level apart from a scheduled workout time.

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  • UP24 has further reminded me that I don’t get enough sleep, and in turn, it has given me an idea of the ideal bedtime to get a decent amount of rest and feel my best the next day. This is huge for me right now because I’m trying to cut back on the coffee drinking and go for only green tea. Green tea is great and all, but despite comparative amounts of caffeine, it doesn’t give me the morning boost that coffee does. A good night’s sleep is a must!

Up24

  • The app is well designed and connects with other apps like MyFitnessPal for food tracking and RunKeeper for gps and running stats. Though I’m not a huge fan of counting calories on MyFitnessPal, it’s great to set goals and get an idea of where your falling short (too few fruits or veggies, not enough protein, etc), so the ability to look at everything in the UP app is very convenient.

What I have to be careful of:

  • The accessibility of the app can be consuming. The first few days I was constantly checking my steps to see if I had met my goal. The extra motivation is all fine and good, but if it causes you to feel shame or worry when you don’t reach the goal or take a rest day, the good motivation quickly turns to bad obsession.
  • Steps aren’t the best way to calculate overall fitness, so if I don’t go on a long walk or run but go to the gym and bike plus lift weights, my body is happy but UP24 isn’t. This is worth being aware of if you do a variety of fitness activities that don’t always involve taking lots of steps. Enjoy the movement you love. Don’t let a band tell you you aren’t moving enough.

As I journey into a new to me field of Social Media Marketing, I’ll be writing blog posts more regularly and taking a chance to examine how aspects of sociology and social media play a role in how we eat and how we approach fitness. Jawbone approaches social media and connectivity in a range of ways. The devices offer a Team option that allows you to connect, compete, and motivate people you know.

Jawbone is active across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Each platform uses consistent pictures, and they have also used the platforms for sharing other information in the fitness and health industry. As we become more immersed in the era of the Internet of Things (check out the link for Jawbone’s take on this phenomenon), activity trackers will become more and more intricate, and we will have even more capability to control and connect with our environment.

How do you feel about being connected through more and more devices? Is the smartphone enough for you, or are you jumping for the chance to buy a Nest thermostat, the newest activity tracker, and Google glass?

Blast Off

Good morning beautiful people! On a scale of 0—Awesome, how dumb is that title? I’m going with awesome. I guess I’m breaking typical blog rules and posting on a Saturday, but hey, it’s always fun to be a little rebellious. Plus it’s just been too long since I’ve hung out over here. Here’s a countdown of some random things that have made unexpected appearances in my life lately. They’re all pretty cool though, so I’m not complaining!

Four foods/drinks I’ve been eating, craving, and loving:

1 // Wow green smoothies! I am pretty proud to include this on the list because it means I’m officially a smoothie person. Holla! I’ve made my fair share of berry smoothies with yogurt for a base, but I decided to get crazy and experiment with greens. Needless to say, it was a success because my mom even liked it. Here’s what I threw in: a huge handful of spinach, frozen mango, frozen banana, pineapple, and water. So good! (A tip for green smoothies: blend greens and water well before adding the fruit…just trust me.)

smoothie

2 // Chocolate pudding, where have you been all my life? My mom has gotten me on a pudding after dinner kick, and I’m not even mad about it. Here’s the great thing about pudding: it’s good but not too rich, you get to put Cool Whip on it (as if I need an excuse to eat Cool Whip), and it’s the perfect dessert because you don’t even really have to feel bad about it. Join the pudding club! You won’t regret it!

3 // Cottage cheese. I’m weird. I became a believer at the Jason’s Deli salad bar, and now I think everybody needs to love it. I like it plain, on a salad, or with coconut and dark chocolate chips mixed in. The protein benefits are pretty sweet too! Check out this graphic at Women’s Health to see where cottage cheese falls on the list of protein rich foods.

4 // Coffee all day everyday! I actually don’t drink it everyday, but I should. This hot weather has me especially loving iced coffee lately! Here’s a transformation Saturday for you: the first coffee I would ever drink was the tiny drop they put in Starbucks’ frappuccinos, and look at me now. Going for a plain iced coffee with skim milk and no sugar. Crazy how the times change; we grow up way too fast.

coffee

Three places that I call “my places” in Bainbridge:

1 // The Bean. If college has taught me anything it’s that your house isn’t where you do productive things. You have to go to a coffee shop where people can see you listening to hip music and doing your thing (that’s not why I go at all though). Whether it’s sitting outside with friends or getting studying done, The Bean is the perfect atmosphere for anything. Comfy and quaint!

bean photo creds to Chelsea Kornse

2 // The Square. All I have to do is go downtown, spread out my quilt, and I’m loving life. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older but downtown Bainbridge is becoming such a special place to me. From the thick green grass to the brick street to the “smile and speak to everybody” vibe, it’s just beautiful. **Sorry, I should’ve warned you to grab a tissue for that one!

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courthousephoto creds to Chelsea Kornse

3 // My house. This is not a joke at all! It is so sweet to have a summer at home with my fam. Though taking classes is not the most exciting way to spend the summer, it has been one of the best decisions for so many reasons. I’m pursuing my passion for nutrition, getting to grow my relationships with my family, and cherishing my town in a way I never have before. I foresee many memories being made here over the next two months.

grad

gradu

Two exercises that have been my go to lately:

1 // Biking like it’s my job. I ride my bike basically every single day, no lie. It’s such a fun exercise, and everything looks better on/from a bike. I’ve been able to ride all over town, and luckily I haven’t gotten completely sketched out yet. If you’ve been feeling out of the whole exercise thing lately, pull your bike out of the depths of your garage or borrow a friend’s and go ride for a while. It’s cathartic. Btw, the train trestle at sunset has to be one of the most picturesque views around.

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2 // Lifting weights! I’ve read, you’ve read, we’ve all read forever that we girls need to lift heavy weight because it boosts metabolism, tones muscles, and is so great for bone health. I kinda avoided the weight part of the gym and stuck with cardio until the beginning of the summer, but now I love weights. I think one of the greatest things about them is that you can see results so quickly, and I can already tell how much stronger I’ve gotten since I can grab heavier weights now. (Sorry I don’t have any pics for this. I’ll have to get Cole, my brother, to teach me about gym selfies. 😉 No shame in his game.)

One lesson I’ve learned over the past few months:

1 // Take a risk. Step out of your comfort zone. You never know what will happen, but it’s guaranteed to be a memory. Just make sure to check for rocks before you jump!

mtns

cliff

 

Hope y’all have a fun, chill, relaxing, or exciting weekend–whatever you’re needing! Let me know, what are you loving or learning lately?

Cheers to the Weekend

If you were wondering, here’s what went down in Athens this weekend! The weekend (or Thursday night) began with a 3 mile run that ended on the train trestle. Just look at this sunset!

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What should have been a productive afternoon of cleaning for our weekend guest turned into adventures all around Athens to take cool pictures and enjoy the weather. Nothing like a cup of afternoon coffee to make you want to do everything but clean. Amen! Oh yeah, I’m like a hippie now too.

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After carb-loading for the big race at Olive Garden, I met friends at Menchie’s for frozen yogurt. Needless to say, our laughs and race nerves kept me up all night….I actually don’t think I got any sleep.

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So much joy to see the finish line for the Chick fil A Half Marathon in Athens! A race recap will be coming soon, but this was probably the hardest race I’ve run because of the mountains that are everywhere in Athens. Also, after this race, I’ve set a new goal for my next half to be sub 2:00—unless it’s one where I need to slow down to enjoy the sights like a Disney or Rock n’ Roll race. (Leslie (in the purple leggings) and I ran together, but we didn’t know the guy in the cow outfit. We must’ve all been feeling about the same way though.)

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Despite the hills, this was one of my favorite races because of the people in the background of this shot. Seriously, it was so awesome to be in Athens and have friends at the finish line. They’re the greatest, and I am thankful!

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BEST. PICTURE. EVER. Our favorite Dillon Panther, Tim Riggins, met us at the finish line! Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose was our race day mantra, so to have Tim there was the best surprise! 😉

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After a restful afternoon, we ended the day with Judah and the Lion and Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors at the historic Georgia Theatre in downtown Athens. It was a great night with friends, and I’m so glad Whitney (on the left) could spend the weekend in Athens with us!

georgia theatre

Overall, it was a crazy, exhausting, fun, and productive weekend! Now to get back into the school, internship, study swing. Do you have any fun concerts or events coming up? What is your favorite concert you’ve ever been to?

Weekend in Photos

I started this birthday weekend with a quick stop at Earth Fare, a cute and cozy Athens grocery store. I grabbed a Green Goddess smoothie packed with strawberries, bananas, apple juice, and spirulina to make the rainy drive home a little more enjoyable. Yum!

earth fare 

Since my brother and I share a birthday, my mom and I put together a family favorite for tomorrow’s dessert. Yay for carrot cake (because at least it has vegetables in it, right?).

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Birthday dinner for the win! Probably a dietitians nightmare but a granddaughter’s dream. It seems like the best family times happen when we’re gathered around my Mema and Papa’s kitchen table.

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A blender and a bike for my birthday. It’s like I’m 8 years old or 40 years old. I’ve read great reviews about this Ninja NJ600, so I’ll be sure to let ya know what I think!

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Still trying to decide if I’m going to run the Chick fil a half marathon this weekend or if I’m just going for the 5k. Watch was dead, so I had to go old school…

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Perks of living in the Bible Belt!

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I hope you all had a rockin’ weekend! What was your favorite part?

Albany Half Marathon

Well, my second half marathon is in the books, and what a great race it was. When I think back over the few races I’ve done, this one definitely takes the cake for most fun which is a little weird considering the comparison between Disney World and Albany, Georgia (if that even is a comparison).

Post Albany Half

The weekend kicked off with a road trip from Athens with one of my best friends, Chelsea, and after the three hour trek, I met up with my mom while Chelsea headed further south to Bainbridge. Since it was a Saturday race day, we had several last minute things to pick up before carb-loading, heading to the hotel, and calling it an early night, so we headed to Target to grab some bagels and more importantly, fingernail polish remover (I could not bring myself to run with red nails). We followed up with a typical Olive Garden pasta meal for dinner; you just can’t go wrong with alfredo sauce and chicken.

The alarms came at a not so bright but early 5:00 am, but of course race day nerves and jitters kicked in so we were up pretty quickly. Plus, something about knowing a bagel (or any type of breakfast) is waiting gets me out of bed.

Getting to the start line was easy as pie, especially compared to other races, so we had time to use a real bathroom and hang out in the host hotel lobby to stay warm. It was pretty chilly; but for me, the cooler the better, so I was pretty happy. I started in a running tank and shorts and was perfectly fine, but there were lots of other runners looking comfortable in running tights and long sleeves.

Pre Albany Half

The race started at 7:00 am, and by this point I was pretty nervous because my farthest run during training had only been 8 miles. Needless to say, I didn’t even know if my legs were capable of going a whole 5 more, but I was hoping to stay mentally focused enough to push through (They aren’t lying when they say it’s mostly mental).

Around mile 5 I started eating Honey Stinger Lime-Ade chews, and the joys of getting to eat a yummy snack plus the boost of sugar and caffeine really helped push me through. We ran through the cutest neighborhoods, and there were volunteer groups all along the route cheering us on. Until about mile 10, I was feeling good, but between 10 and 11, I started to feel my lack of training more mileage. Luckily the downhill last leg and my motivation to finish under 2:10 helped keep my energy up, and once I saw the finish line, I was able to slightly pick up the pace.

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If you’re looking for a smaller race (less than 2,000 runners) that’s pretty fast and flat, I would highly recommend  running Albany. There is a half marathon and a full, and it’s a Boston Qualifier. There you go! A fun race morning wrapped up with a satisfying lunch at the Mellow Mushroom and a relaxing afternoon spent at home with my family.

Of the races you’ve done, which one has been your favorite?