Posted by: thefitacademic | July 31, 2011

Pool Party and Flowers

Happy Sunday!

It almost makes me sad to say that because it means the weekend is almost over!

Yesterday wasn’t too eventful. I woke up early and took my little man to his favorite place on Earth. No, not Disney World….the Dog Park! It only took 20 minutes before he was completely exhausted!


I would do anything to see that adorable that smiley face!

I also had to run a couple errands, including going to one of my favorite places on Earth – Trader Joe’s! I had a pool party that I was going to and had volunteered to bring chips and homemade guacamole. I picked up some Super Seeded Tortilla chips (organic + all natural/no preservatives!!!)


And I scored a bouquet of roses for $3.99!!! It was a bouquet of 10, rather than 12, but I still thought it was a great deal! I’m usually not drawn to roses (I prefer to have a variety of flowers), but these were too gorgeous and too cheap to pass up!


Then I saw Caitlin’s post where she talked about buying a bouquet every couple of weeks and splitting it up to put in different rooms of the house….and I totally stole her idea! I split my bouquet into 2 and placed half on the living room coffee table, and half in the window sill in the bathroom. It looks a little sparse compared to Caitlin’s blooms, but I absolutely LOVE having fresh flowers in a couple different rooms in the house.


I spent the next 5 hours out at a pool party with friends, munching on my chips and guacamole, along with the other great eats (hummus, burgers, and some Eegees!)

Today I got up early and I’m about to head up to the Biosphere. I wish it didn’t take so long (it’s supposed to be about a 5 hour ordeal), because I have a TON to get done today, but I’m still excited to go (does that make sense???)

Anyways, I’ve got to run! Make the most of the rest of the weekend!!!

How’s your weekend going? You busy running errands or taking some time to relax (or both)?

Posted by: thefitacademic | July 29, 2011

While I’ve been gone….

Wow! I totally did not intend on falling off the face of the Earth this week! We switched internet providers to save money and the old service was cut off Tuesday. The new service was supposed to be turned on on Wednesday but you know how things go and well…it just got turned on. Gotta love that.

So I apologize for the break in posts. I should have at least dropped a line so you knew what was going on but, alas, life has a way of *happening* and I just didn’t make it a priority.

Let’s move past this and forget it ever even happened. Okay? Deal!

I wish I could say that a lot of exciting things have happened this week while I’ve been gone. But then, I wish I had a million dollars too…it doesn’t make it happen.

But there are a couple things that have happened.

Like the husband giving Rocky boy a much needed hair cut (remember his last one!? Thank goodness the hubbs did it this time around!)


I spent a great deal of time at Starbucks in the evenings, drinking caffeinated beverages (my current fave is an unsweetened half passionfruit tea, half lemonade), and “borrowing” internet to get work done. The nearest Starbucks is only about 1 mile from the house, so I’ve walked a couple of times because it’s a nice, safe neighborhood and I enjoy the stroll. I learned that *these* shoes are NOT suitable for walking…even for a mile (and I have giant blisters on BOTH feet to prove it!)IMAG1470

But, despite the blisters, at least I got to enjoy the beautiful Tucson sunsets over the mountains on my walks home.


And, on a rare middle-of-the-week-day-off for the hubbs, he decided to clean our entire backyard. It was much needed because after all the monsoons we’ve been having, random papers and trash have blown all over the place and it was looking quite unkempt. Here it is, shiny and clean!


Hubbs even power-washed the bricks!


And I spent a little bit of time re-potting some plants and re-soiling others. I’ve got quite a little plant paradise now!


We’ve also had a student in town visiting/doing research, so a lot of time has been spent running around town, doing some small sight-seeing, etc. Sunday we’re hitting up the Biosphere. I’ve never been so I’m actually really looking forward to it!

Are there any “touristy” things in your town that you’ve never done? I’ve lived here for 2 years now, so it’s about time I get around to some of this stuff!

Posted by: thefitacademic | July 25, 2011

Weekend Best and Worst

Are you familiar with my “Best and Worst” series? If not, check back on some great ones here – the best & worst from a crazy/random/exciting week before vacation, a horrific hair cut and a brand new running skirt, and a honeymoon flash back after taking the biggest exam of my life!

But this weekend is unique because my “Best” and my “Worst” were the same thing! How does that happen? I’ll tell you how…

This weekend a group of friends (7 of us total) had decided to go on a good hike called the Seven Falls hike, here in Tucson’s Sabino Canyon. Though I’ve done this hike before, it was during the winter (February, I believe), and the website specifically states that Seven Falls is a great summer-time hike because it’s nice to be able to cool off in the falls along the path and at the end. See, it’s an 8 mile round trip (4 miles in, then turn around) that includes SEVEN water crossings (yes, you literally trek through the water) and ends with the most magnificent waterfalls (seven, to be exact) that all pool into a small canyon where people swim, sunbathe, eat lunch, and hang out before heading back. The website says it takes 3 hours but it really takes closer to 4 or 5 when you take into consideration “rest time” at the falls. Lots of people do it as a half-day thing.

7 falls

one of the water-crossings

So I was excited for this hike, and the company along the way was this weekend’s “Best” moment. But, if I’d ever had any question about the fact that I live in the dessert, everything was confirmed along this hike as not just one, two, or three of the river crossings were dry. Nope. was GONE! Bone Dry! I held out hope for a nice watering hole at the end of the hike. But when we finally arrived, we discovered a tiny snake-pit “pond” that was a disgusting algae-green color that scared as all awayl


I was super bummed. It was definitely the “Worst” of my weekend!

So I did some yoga to feel better.


And we turned around and headed back. It was brutal. 100+ degrees with 80% humidity (because it’s been monsooning its actually been pretty humid). Where the water goes??? I have no idea!

Upon returning home we were all so hot and sweaty that we hit up a friends’ apartment complex pool. You know, so we could still get our “swim” in! Smile

being friendly

But the weather had different plans in store. Luckily we had gotten a good hour of swim-time in before the skies turned dark and another monsoon rolled through.


Mother nature sure has a sick-twisted sense of humor. Dumping water on us from the sky, but somehow it dries instantly, without pooling on the ground in the canyon for hikers to indulge in. I don’t know what the deal is.

At any rate – that’s how you can have a “Best” AND “Worst” in one.

What’s the BEST or WORST thing you did this weekend?

Posted by: thefitacademic | July 22, 2011

Humidity City!

Humidity is not what you expect when you live in the dessert.

But with the monsoon season in full swing, it has been HOT and HUMID lately in Tucson! People always complain about how they hate humidity, but I’ve lived in Houston, Austin, Boca Raton and Tucson so I’ve experienced the whole range of humidity and I think a little differently than most people about it…

A Clouds’ Silver Lining…or The UPside to Humidity:

1. You feel like you’re always freshly showered because there’s a perma-glisten on your skinWinking smile

2. Plants and foliage grow like crazy, making even the driest climates feel like a tropical oasis

3. The moisture in the air breaks up the light so the sun’s beams aren’t as potent on a run (of course you still need sunscreen, but it helps keep it from feeling like the sun is penetrating your flesh!)

4. You no longer need a hat to shade yourself from the sun every time you step outside (see #3)

5. You can actually run at pretty much any point throughout the day because the moisture in the air prevents it from ever getting tooo hot (this is all relative – it’s still up to 100 degrees F, but it never gets up to 115 or 120 anymore…it’ll rain before it gets that hot and then everything cools down).


So there you have it. I know lots of people are anti-humidity, but I think it can actually be really nice sometimes.

What’s your silver lining lately?

Posted by: thefitacademic | July 20, 2011

30 Day Clean Eating Challenge

You may remember that I had decided to do a 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge. 100%whole foods and just a general emphasis to eat healthier, in general. And to be fair, I have indulged in condiments that aren’t entirely “whole,” but I’ve stayed away from anything with high fructose corn syrup! I’ve also tried to somewhat follow the food pyramid diet you can read about here. Basically, it’s a diet consisting of mostly vegetables, followed by fruit, then meat (or protein alternatives, but I eat meat), and only a limited amount of whole grains. This is very different than the typical American diet, which consists largely of grains. This low(ish) carb diet is somewhat inspired by Atkins or Southbeach, but no where near as extreme!!!

So here you go, WIAW:  Clean Eating Edition!



Berries, bananas, oats, yogurt, protein powder, and chia seeds x 2





spinach salad with berries, apples, almond slivers, and feta cheese


more salads (plus LOTS that are unpictured). I’ve also had lots of veggie-based snacks:  mostly carrots and celery with almond butter or hummus. Sorry, no pics.



Mini-meatloaves (with tons of veggies mixed in)


Lots of meat and veg….and more salads Smile


and pizza! on TJ’s whole wheat dough. A special carb-heavy “treat” dinner Smile

Other Favorites:


Ripe fruits and veggies!


dark chocolate almonds

oh, right….and lots & LOTS of water!


with fresh lemon and strawberry slices thrown in


sparkling water when I’m in the mood for something fizzy, and watermelon chunks in ice. Have you ever tried mixing fruit into water for a little flavor burst? Delicious!

So far it really hasn’t been bad. I miss my grains (love pasta and bread!!!), but it’s really not a big deal. And prior to the challenge I already ate mostly whole foods, so making the leap to all whole foods wasn’t a big problem. I did have to add another grocery store trip mid-week because I’m FLYING through the produce! But that’s a good thing!

And the thing I’ve missed most? I would have thought it was my sweet indulgences (yes, I’m like a 10 year old and love gummy worms/sour patch kids/etc.) But, no – the #1 thing I’ve missed was the one, the only:



Diet Dr. Pepper!!! How I’ve missed you!!!! I know how horrible soda is and all that. But I just loooooove my DDP! And I would only have 1-2 a week prior to the challenge so its not like I had them all the time, but I sure do miss those couple drinks per week!!!

Meanwhile, it just keeps raining like crazy over here! On one hand, I love how it has had the effect of cooling things down a little (like 95* instead of 115*), BUT, we live in a house with a swamp cooler. If you’re unfamiliar – the things do not work when there is humidity or moisture in the air, so we’ve just been chillin in our un-AC’ed house that measures in at around 95*. Very nice.

At least someone is enjoying all the thunder storms!


Are your pets scared by storms or are they not bothered? Rocky is intrigued!!

Posted by: thefitacademic | July 19, 2011

Storm Cloud


Its monsoon season over here in Tucson.


The sky can go from clear to *black* in 2 minutes. And then it just opens up and the bottom falls out.

It’s been matching my mood. I’ve had some big work projects that have had me on edge. I’ve been super stressed – the kind of stress where you just want to shut down and take a nap because you can’t deal with the issues at hand. I’ve been doing everything in my power to just keep chugging along. With any luck I can have the project near-complete by Friday. We’ll see….

Beautiful flowers help to lift my spirits some.


Thanks, hubbs! What a guy!

I’m headed to work, but I’ll be back tomorrow with a special WIAW – Clean Eating edition!

When you are feeling overwhelmed, how do you de-stress and chill out?

Posted by: thefitacademic | July 16, 2011

Good Things



of the “just because” variety Smile

Banana-berry soft-serve


1 (frozen) banana + 5 (frozen) blackberries + a sprinkle of coconut thrown into the food processor until smooth



Yes, those are my legs he’s sprawled out across.

A full fruit bowl


Mountain Body Butters


okay, so my Dad got me these while we were in Utah, but I’ve just now started using them and they’re awesome!


Welllll, I’m spending all day today and tomorrow (8:00am-7:00pm) in a Statistics workshop. Fuuuuun. Yeah.

What’s something good that’s happened to you lately?

Posted by: thefitacademic | July 14, 2011

I made up a recipe….

…but I’m not going to share.

The idea is that a carrot cake and peanut butter banana bread fell in love and had this baby.


There’s carrots, and raisins, a mashed banana and dark chocolate peanut butter…IMAG1396

…ground flax seed & whole wheat flour, chocolate protein powder and chia seeds.IMAG1397

There’s a whole bunch of other stuff, too, like agave nectar and vanilla, and shredded coconut for moistness.


But I’m not going to give you the recipe because they came out more like biscuits than the fluffy muffins I was envisioning. I know what to tweak and next time, it’s gonna be rock solid!

What’s the last kitchen mishap that you had?

Posted by: thefitacademic | July 12, 2011

No Call, No Show

Sorry I’ve been MIA a couple of days! I gave you some recaps from my long 4th of July weekend trip (see Part I, II, and III) but then I kind of fell of the face of the Earth for a couple days!

Well, truth be told, I’ve been up to a whole lotta nothing! Here are some of my week’s highlights:

It has been the week of mystery bruises (where did that come from!?)


It has been the week of eating-at-my-desk (both breakfasts & lunches)



It has been the week of wearing workout clothes to the office…and at home…and to the store…pretty much all the time.


It has been the week of Rocky-boy cuddles and loves


And it has been the week of mocktails! (sparkling water, lemonade, chopped strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, lemon wedge & sugarturbinado-rim)


And have you noticed that I’ve been talking about “this is the week of…” when it’s only Tuesday!?

Uh, yeah…I think its safe to say my schedule is STILL all messed up from being out of town last weekend. Plus I worked all day Saturday (and part of Sunday), so it didn’t really feel like we just had a weekend.

And then, I thought, why not throw myself outta-whack even further by attending a concert on a Monday night!? No big deal, right?


And so I went to see Reel Big Fish at a Monday night show at the Rialto, here in downtown Tucson. The Rialto is a great venue – lots of history and amazing acoustics.IMAG1386

It was a great show, lots of energy and the crowd was great. I did, however, get thrown into the mosh pit at one point (totally against my will!!!) and I had to get out QUICK!!! I was wearing flip flops and think I got my toes stomped on about 10 times before I was able to save myself! Smile

It was also a late night. A little later than I like on a Monday work-night, but it’s not like I’m a stranger to random Monday night happenings. It was also a great opportunity to bond with a friend – we had a great time! Can’t go wrong! And I kept my alcohol consumption reasonable so I didn’t wake up this morning hurting…except for the lack of sleep! Nothing a little coffee won’t fix!

I also started my 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge yesterday. So far, so good but I’ll have to save the deets for another blog post.

Does your schedule get all thrown off when you go out of town? If so, how long does it take you to recover?

Do you ever go see live music shows?

Posted by: thefitacademic | July 8, 2011

Weekend Recap–Part III, Daily Happenings

If you’re new or just catching up, I’ve been doing a series of posts to recap my long weekend away this past weekend.

Part I: A Red, White, and Blue recap with the foods we ate for 4th of July

Part II: Sights from the road

Part III: Things we did

This is one of the reasons I love blogging – this is the perfect way for me to document (for myself) what I did on my trip!

Friday: We arrived late in the evening at my friend’s house and didn’t do much – just sat up talking for awhile before we all decided to hit the hay early.

Saturday: We woke up early to beat the weekend-rush at a famous little place, Ruth’s Diner. They’ve been around for 80 years and were featured on Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network!


They’re known for their “mile high biscuits,” and they bring out a plate with biscuits along with waters as soon as you arrive. Carb heaven!


After breakfast Chris and I said goodbye to our friends and drove across town to my Dad’s place.


LOVING the snow!

Once there, we decided to head up even further into the mountains to enjoy the scenic views and gentle mountain drives. We went to Alta and decided to take the tram up to the top of the mountain. The peak was still open to skiiers and snow-boarders! Drastically different weather than Tucson!!!

On the tram:


at the top….after walking across the snow in just my flip-flops!!! We hadn’t planned ahead!



Next we went to Sundance, which is Robert Redford’s property. They have some beautifully landscaped grounds, western-themed stores and dining areas, and a wedding was even being set up!


Next, we headed to the BYU stadium for their annual event, Stadium of Fire, which includes performances by dancers, singers, a mini American Idol-style event where we voted for the winner, and culminated with the largest stadium firework show in the US! It was truly incredible! The headliner was Brad Paisley, and though I haven’t listened to country music in awhile, I’ve always been a big fan of Mr. Paisley’s. The performances were all amazing – I was so impressed that EVERYONE actually sang (it’s surprisingly common for people to pre-record music and lip sync). The show blew me away – I loved it! Plus – we even had front row seats! Score!




Sunday: My Dad and I got up early and decided to go on a hiking trail just up the mountain by his house. 5 minutes there and 20 minutes to the top. Not bad! We even got to jog for a flat stretch. It felt soooooo good to be moving about after being stuck in the car for so long!





And when Chris woke up we all decided to hit up Treehouse Athletic Club, which is one of the nicest gyms I’ve ever been to! My Dad has been a member for years so I’ve been before and I knew I wanted to hit them up to get in a good weight sesh and enjoy the incredible pools!

It’s the kind of gym where they have full towel service (sweat towels, shower towels, & beach towels), and they have complimentary hair dryers and self-hygiene products (spray deodorant, lotions, soaps, shampoos, etc.) They also have separate hot tubs and steam rooms in the locker rooms for both men and women. The pictures don’t do it justice (and I whish I’d gotten some of the weight room & pools!), but it’s beautiful – trust me!


After showers, we headed up to Park City to walk around, hitting up some more mountain views on the way.


We ate dinner up in Park City and saw another fireworks show up in the mountains. We were getting spoiled with fireworks! On the way home, we could see about 6 different firework shows out across the valley. Beautiful!

Monday: We spent just about the entire day Monday at my Grandma’s house for 4th of July, celebrating with family (see Weekend Recap, Part I for pictures). My Dad suggested going to a baseball game with – you guessed it – more fireworks, but Chris and I wanted to go to bed early because we were planning on leaving so early.

Tuesday: We were on the highway by 5:45am!!! See Part II for pictures from the road. We made it back in great time – by 5:15 pm…about 2 minutes before a terrible monsoon blew in! Thank goodness we weren’t driving in the horrible weather!

And since then we’ve been playing lots of catch up with work and life, in general. This week has just been crazy! I know it’s Friday but it doesn’t feel like one to me! I’ll probably be working this weekend to make up for it!

What’s one fun thing you’re doing this weekend?

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