Meal Delivery Programs

These seem to have become very popular  over the last couple of years.  Many people ask, is it for them??  I think it is all based on your own opinion not what others say.  I started doing this last year because I decided I wanted to start eating fish, but had no idea how to cook it.  Also, I was tired of eating the same thing day in and day out.  One awesome thing about these programs is that it comes with all the ingredients you need (other than olive oil) and step by step instructions.  When cooking my first meal, I felt like a chef!

Now the question is, which one should you try???  I have tried Blue Apron, Home Chef, and Plated.

I first started out with Blue Apron because their salmon recipes looked really good.  It did not disappoint, the food was amazing and the flavor of everything was off the hook.  I loved the everything was fresh and all the recipes were very healthy.  The only downside to Blue Apron that you spent a lot of time cutting and chopping stuff up.  Plus, you used so many dishes.  G would complain the entire time he washed dishes because that was his job since I did all the cooking.  Also, you are locked in to ordering at least three meals a week.  Plus, your meal selection is limited.

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I will openly tell anyone that I did not like Home Chef because there was not a lot of flavor in the food.  It was cheaper than the others, however it just did not satisfy my craving for flavor.  Also, while the recipes did vary from healthy to not-so-healthy the meat was not hormone free.  Yeah-yeah I sound like a crazy person, but I can really tell a difference.    (Yes that is a glob of butter on that steak.)

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I started ordering from Plated last month and I have been loving it!  It seems like there is a lot less prep work than Blue Apron, but it still has plenty of flavor.  Meals come packaged like the other two meal delivery programs, but there is a little less waste.  Like the other delivery programs, everything is recyclable which is always a plus.

I plan on continuing using Plated for awhile.  I like that you do not have to order 3 meals a week and there are a lot of different meals to choose from.  Currently we just order two meals and week, but we can change that anytime.  Also, I like the fact that you can include a dessert if you so choose with your weekly subscription.

So, there are my thoughts on meal delivery services.  If anyone would like to try out Plated let me know because I have some free boxes I can send.

Until next time…..

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Glass Fusion 103

So, here is what the glass fusion 102 vase turned out like…..pretty neat.  Now it is sitting up on a bookcase at home.

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I’m finally taking a breath in order to hurry and talk about the last Glass Fusion class Trish and I went to at Fired Up Fused Glass.  I think by far this was my favorite class!!  We picked our platter glass color and then came up with a design using glass powder, which was pretty cool.

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When working with powders you have to wear some very fashionable masks!

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Trish and I rocking our masks.

This time I went with a black base and my “inspiration” (if you can call it that) was the cosmic outer space.

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Looks pretty cool, right???  Even though I was totally out of my comfort zone for three weeks doing this, I loved learning about all the different techniques and how much work was involved in making fused glass pieces.

If you ever want to try it out, you must sign up for a class with Mary Jane at Fired Up Fused Glass, which  is located downtown Chattanooga, TN right across from the YMCA.  Click here for the latest class schedule.

Until Next Time…….

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Glass Fusion 102

Well here is how my project from Glass Fusion 101 turned out.  I think it looks pretty cool and I link how the edges are not straight.  However, now that I know how the glass spreads I would have used something smaller for the Mickey head because Mickey is fat! 🙂

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If I didn’t mention last time, this is a progressive class.  So this week we moved onto something a little more involved.  We are making vases, which is a two firing process.  The first firing is to melt the glass, or tac it.  The second firing is to slump the glass, which means you put the glass on a vase mold and it melts to the molded shape.

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After going over the firing process and learning about the tools used to cut circles we started cutting our own.  Luckily I got my circle cut on the first try!  It was harder than it looks.

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Remember I am not crafty or artsy, so I decided to go with something I thought was easy.  While others used different pieces of glass, I used glass rods.  We will see how this turns out….I’m wondering how delicate is it going to be???

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If anyone is interested in trying this Mary Jane is going to start another Glass Fusion 101 class on February 8th.  All you have to do is sign up!  I think it’s very interesting and worth your time.

 

Until next time….Thanks for reading

 

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Glass Fusion – What is it?

So for the past couple of years a fun group of girls get together and do something crafty/artsy.  Which I do not fall into either of those categories but I go because it is fun to get out of your comfort zone every now and again.  Also, these ladies make anything fun!  We have attended paint classes, completed pottery projects and now it is time to move onto glass fusion….

Trish and I were the only ones in our “girl group” that were able to attend this class.  I had no idea what to expect and it turned out to be a lot more fun than I would have thought it could be.  

Trish and I in class.

Trish and I in class.

At first you have to go over all the safety instructions, you don’t want to get glass in your eye!  After that we went over how the process works and then we started learning how to cut glass.  The picture below is of a kiln, which “melts” and/or “cooks” the glass and turns your creation into a masterpiece.

A Kiln

A Kiln

Here I am learning how to cut glass…..it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.   I cannot really cut in a straight line (shocking I know) and I did not break one row correctly.  Practice makes perfect, right?

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Next, it was time to design what you wanted your cheese board (aka – platter) to be.  Here is when I totally struggle because I no nothing about art and design.  I looked around the room and some of these people had gorgeous creations.  I decided to just use a bunch of blues and put it all randomly on the 12×12 backing glass.  Do you see the “hidden Mickey”?

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How did it turn out????  I guess you will have to see next time.  I get to pick it up this week.  I’m also, going to the next glass fusion 102 glass, which I think we will be making a vase!

If you are interested in Glass Fusion, check out where I went here: Fired Up! Fused Glass  —Mary is awesome!

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Looking Ahead in 2017

I find it rather strange that prior to the end of 2016, you need to almost have your “main” race schedule planned for 2017.  Does anyone else do this?  Anyway, G and I have decided to take a year off of the full 140.6 Ironman distance and focus on trying to find balance in our lives.  Do not get me wrong, we have already signed up for a couple of half marathons, an Olympic distance triathlon, and a 70.3 Ironman event.  HA!

A couple of items worth mentioning for 2017.  (1) I am now an RRCA certified running coach (along with some other awesome Chattanooga Track Club Members)  I’m not sure what I am going to do with this yet, but I am very happy to have a lot more knowledge in running and now I am more confident in the questions I answer for friends.

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(2) I joined an online Tri Club, called SBM & TriFecta Club.  This triathlon club was put together by Swim Bike Mom.  I am super excited about this club because of all the amazing discounts, giveaways, and knowing that anything SBM puts together is going to be awesome!!  Which you can join this now and save $30 with “nothingbutlove” code!  It is worth it just for the discounts!!!  Learn more at www.besttriclubever.com

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(3) Last but not least, I am the Vice President of Communications for the Chattanooga Track Club.  I’m super excited about this but also a little nervous….there is a lot expected of me and I do not want to disappoint the President, who is also a great friend of mine.

Jan 2017 Chattanooga Track Club Board Retreat

Jan 2017 Chattanooga Track Club Board Retreat

 

So what do you see when you look ahead of 2017??

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2016 Review

Even though we are 6 days into the new year, I wanted to go back and review all the wonderful and amazing things G and I were able to do this year……

Jan – 2016 Disney 5K and Marathon….we ran with my mom during the 5K which was so much fun (really a dream come true that we could do this as a family).

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March – Little Rock, AR…..We were able to run the Little Rock Half Marathon and cheer our friend on during the full marathon as she completed her 50th state!!  We also go in a little fishing while we were there.

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April – Disney Star Wars Dark Side Challenge….there are really no words to descibe this.  I am a through and through Star Wars fan, so I enjoyed every second of this!  I also, was able to do another 5K with my mom…..Rock N Roll Nashville.

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August – Ironman Ohio 70.3……We were able to complete the inaugural race in Delaware, Ohio.  We had a decent size group drive up and were able to eat dinner the night before with some fun people.

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September – Peridio Key Beach, AL…..We were able, for the first time go on a family vacation with G’s family.

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October – Ironman Louisville…..Gary and I completed Ironman Louisville, crossing the finish line together.  Something I will never forget!! Oh and lets not forget about Halloween – Star Wars!!!!

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November – Then, for the first time ever we were able to take a large family vacation to Disney with my crew!!  (8 adults, 1 kid). Hahaha

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I would most definitely say, G and I had a very blessed year.  We were so happy to be able to spend time with family this year.  I have about 200 more pictures I would love to post, but I will save you from it.  Other big news worth mentioning is that my little sister moved to Australia!!!!  We are both looking forward to what is in store for 2017.

 

Until next time……

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Are You Ready?

For those of you that race – 5K up to an Ironman, people always ask “Are you ready?”  Raise your hand if you ever answer that question with “Yes”!  I never feel totally prepared for a race.  I always ask myself, “Should I have completed another long bike ride?”, “Should I have run 20 miles instead of just 15 miles?”.  So much self-doubt runs through my head.

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Last year G and I felt prepared and confident going into Ironman Florida.  We had done the race back in 2013 and completed it with no issues, it was the perfect day!  However Ironman Florida in 2015 was a totally different story.  Florida was experiencing a heat wave in November which did not work in our favor.  G and I both had great swims, but half way through the bike I started to over heat and felt like I was going to pass out.  I waited at special needs for G, so I could tell him I was going to call it a day.  After talking with him, he was feeling bad also, to the point where he was puking in the woods.  So we both had to call it a day.  Our dreams of completing a second Ironman were crushed and our ego’s were bruised (and still are today).  I do know though if we didn’t stop when we did, we both would have suffered a lot more.

So now, when people ask “Are you Ready for Ironman Louisville?” my answer will always be NO!  No matter how many long rides, runs, or swims we have put into our training I will never feel ready because you never know what race day is going to bring. Luckily a guy in the IMKY Facebook group put together a “Doom’s Day” scenario, so if we are able to follow this everything should turn out ok.

 

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So here is to hoping G and I will be able to see this awesome finish line next weekend!

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Do you ever feel prepared for a race?

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Week 30 Ironman FL Training

8 weeks till Ironman Florida and this coming weekend 9/27 is IM 70.3 Augusta!!

This week was a whirlwind from workouts, work, and wedding showers I think it is safe to say we are completely exhausted!

Monday:
Plan – Sprint workout on the bike
Actual – Swim 3200 yards, Bike 18 miles

Since D, my training partner, was going out-of-town Tuesday late morning we decided to throw in a two a day workout just for fun. (?) We met up early Monday morning to get our swim in, which was great. Then after work we met at the Battlefield to do our sprint workout on the bike. Our average looked pretty slow, 14.58mph, but that is because we had a good 5 minute recovery after each sprint. It seems like every sprint D made us start on a hill….but we averaged anywhere from 18.5 – 23mph on our sprints! SCORE!

Tuesday:
Plan – Run 7 miles
Actual – Ran 6.6 miles

I had issues with this run, probably just tired legs from Monday night and not sleeping well. I had to cut the run a little short because I had to go into the office and needed to be back to the car by 7am.

Loving this weather!

Loving this weather!

Wednesday:
Plan – Rest Day
Actual – Rest Day

D did not get back into town until late Tuesday night, so we decided that Wednesday would be the perfect rest day!

Thursday:
Plan – Swim 2.4 miles
Actual – Swim 2.4 miles

We met up with some friends and swam off of a boat. It was so much fun, and we are so thankful that this person takes the time to take people out every week. The current was flowing pretty well I swam 2.4 miles in 39 minutes.

Loving the views while we made our way to the IM Chattanooga swim start.

Loving the views while we made our way to the IM Chattanooga swim start.

The aquariums...

The aquariums…

Me, Betty, D, and April having fun on the boat.

Me, Betty, D, and April having fun on the boat.

Friday:
Plan – Rest Day
Actual – Rest Day

I took off work today to get things ready for my cousin’s wedding shower on Saturday. It is a good thing I took off because we worked non-stop on Friday!

Making cookies, more cookies, wrapping forks,  etc.

Making cookies, more cookies, wrapping forks, etc.

Taking care of the left over icing.

Taking care of the left over icing.

Saturday:
Plan – Wedding Shower
Actual – Wedding Shower

The wedding shower went off without a hitch! Everything looked great and I do believe everyone enjoyed the food and especially the gorgeous cake we had. I am so happy for my cousin Ryan and his bride-to-be!

The future Mr. and Mrs. Miller!

The future Mr. and Mrs. Miller!

The best looking cake I have ever seen (that wasn't superhero related)

The best looking cake I have ever seen (that wasn’t superhero related)

Sunday:
Plan – Brick ride 30/run 5
Actual – Rode 30 and ran 4.25

G and I went down to Melissa’s to get this brick in. We are “tapering” for Augusta next weekend, so we kept the workout short and sweet. The Walker County Fair was going on down from Melissa’s house so we had to stop and take some pictures and look around, which was a nice change of pace. I cut my run a little short because (1) I was tired and (2) I did not eat dinner the night before, so this workout was a struggle the entire time.

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Melissa and I on the run.

Melissa and I on the run.

What do you do about your workouts when life gets busy?

Trying to keep this one happy in the middle of it all.

Trying to keep this one happy in the middle of it all.

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Week 29 – Ironman FL Training

9 weeks until the big race!!  Augusta 70.3 is less than 2 weeks away!!!

This week seems a little light compared to the previous weeks, which I am ok with.  This go around we are using the Triathlon Geek training plan, so far this has worked out great with our lifestyle.  We usually have just one workout a day, unlike the previous training plan we used in 2013.  On the older plan we usually had two workouts a day which was hard to get in and we always seemed to be on edge with one another.

Anyway, on tap this week…..

Monday:
Plan – Rest Day
Actual – 4 hour ride

We decided to take advantage of the long holiday weekend and get our Sunday bike ride in on Monday.  We started the ride around 7:40 am because (1) the sun doesn’t come up until 7:30 now and (2) we were waiting on some fog to burn off.  It started out kind of cool, but once we started riding it warmed up pretty quick.

D had a 100 mile ride to do, so we stuck around with her until we finished up our 4 hours.  We got in around 62 miles, which I am ok with considering we rode 100 on Saturday with about 3800 ft of climbing on top of Monday’s 1900 ft elevation.  At one point during our ride, we ran into a lady riding a horse and I think D trying to swap her bike for the horse. 🙂

Tuesday:
Plan – 8 mile run with hill repeats
Actual – 8 mile run w/ hill repeats

Tuesday night was so warm, I am very surprised that we ran the entire 8 miles.  My pace was still slow, but I will take slow since we are running on tired legs.  I felt great throughout the run, even though I was sweating like crazy 90+ degrees I knew thought once about quitting.  So, I take that as a win.

Wednesday:
Plan – 4000 yard swim
Actual -4,450 yard swim

Not sure how that happened….I apparently was not paying attention to my Garmin.  I enjoyed being able to break this swim up into workout sets.  Here lately we have been swimming a lot of 800’s so, I welcomed the 150’s and 200’s!  Afterwards, D and I went to Chili’s to eat which was yummy.  I think we were both starving because once our food was set on the table neither one of us spoke.

Thursday:
Plan – Rest Day
Actual – Rest Day

Friday:
Plan – Timed Swim
Actual – Rest Day

My shoulder was pretty sore from Wednesday nights swim, so I thought it would be best to sit this swim out.  No reason to push it when you have a race in two weeks.

Saturday:
Plan – 15-20 mile run
Actual – 15 mile run….It felt so good not to be on the bike for 6+ hours!!!

G and I met, D, Melissa (and her brother), and Kristie out at the Battlefield to get our run in.

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We opted for the 15 miles because we have not run over 10 miles since April.  In the end I am very glad we did just 15 because my quads were getting really sore and my pace was starting to get slower and slower.  I loved running with these ladies – they made time fly by!!!  I never thought I would say, I enjoyed running the entire 15 miles,, loving this fall weather.

Sporting the most comfortable top ever!

Sporting the most comfortable top ever!

Loving my Altra's

Loving my Altra’s

After G and I recovered we went down to my family’s house so the pup could swim. 🙂  She needed to get her exercise in for the day as well.  After about an hour of non-stop throwing her toy in the pool we were finally ready to head back home and crash for the night.

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Sunday:
Plan – Rest Day
Actual – Rest Day

I was able to hang out with my little sis finally.  We had some running around to do, ahem, shopping.  We met up with D for a while at the mall.  Then the little sis and I went to Target and a couple of other fun stores and ended up meeting G for dinner.

Having fun dressing up in onies with my sister.

Having fun dressing up in onies with my sister.

What is your favorite time of year?  Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall?

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Week 28…10 weeks until IMFL

Yep, I am back to hopefully recording workouts and how they went.  So, if you do not want to read about that….then go ahead and close out of this otherwise – continue on.

Monday
Plan: Run 8 miles
Actual: Run 8 miles
I felt pretty good on the run, I seem to be getting slower. I hope that means I am just running on tired legs.

Tuesday
Plan: Swim 3600 yards
Actual: Rest Day
Work was really stressful and I just had a lot going on, so decided to push the swim to Wednesday morning.

Wednesday
Plan: Swim 4000 yards
Actual: Did Tuesday’s workout of 3600 yards, time 1:14  (pushing this swim to Thursday am)
The swim workout felt great! It was able to find a rhythm early and it always helps having my waterproof ipod for music.  I will not lie though, I was totally worn out for the rest of the day!

Thursday
Plan: Swim 4000 yards a.m., brick in the p.m. (1 hr ride/5 mile run)
Actual: 1 hour ride

Still did not get the swim in, which is fine because my shoulder was a little sore and I needed to sleep.  The hour-long ride was good, tried to push is some but not too much since we have such a long ride on Saturday.  We ended up not running because (1) it was just too hot and (2) everyone was too hungry.

Friday
Plan: Rest Day
Actual: Rest Day

For the past couple of Fridays, I’ve been trying to make a sweet treat for the weekend.  Usually after our workouts we go hangout with family.  So this week I made a triple chocolate poke cake….it was sooo good!

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Saturday
Plan: 100 mile ride followed by a 30 min run
Actual: 100 mile ride

We rode out from a friend’s house that actually lives on the Ironman Chattanooga course, if you are racing this month it is called Savage River Kennels (right before to steady hill climb before you have to turn on Hog Jowl).

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Savage River Kennel out on West Cove Road.

I love riding out in the Mountain Cove Farm area, the only downside is that there is pretty much no shade.  However, early that morning it was nice and foggy.

Best place to ride.

Best place to ride.

It was in the mid-90’s and full sun on Saturday, so I would say the ride was a suffer fest.

My view most of the day.

My view most of the day.

Glad we had a couple of stops on our route because we keep running out of fluids!!

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Gas station at the corner of 136 and 193. Very nice owners!

Luckily we had quite a few others to share the experience with, so that helped some.

Fun group - this was after the first 45 miles.

Fun group – this was after the first 45 miles.

The ones that stuck around to do 100 miles.

The ones that stuck around to do 100 miles.

Oh and congratulations Melissa on your first 100 mile bike ride!!  You are going to rock IMFL!

Melissa coming down to finish her first 100 miler!

Melissa coming down to finish her first 100 miler!

Sunday
Plan: Rest Day
Actual: Rest Day

G and I ran a lot of errands, then cleaned up bikes and bottles!

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Hope everyone had a great week and a fun Labor Day!

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