H5F4: Healthy Habits

1. Healthy Habits
Even with this crazy weather, I’ve been keeping up with my running schedule. I’m still using the 0-5k App and it’s really working. Each time I find that I am able to run for longer intervals. I have ordered some different shoes though. I recently purchased a pair of Brooks Pure Connect shoes and they are giving me slight knee issues. I think I’ll still keep them for using in the gym, but I need something with more stability for running. I ordered my new pair from their website because of their great return policy. They’ll let you use them for 30 days and send them back if you don’t like them. I think that’s perfect for me (someone who’s just starting out) because I don’t really know what type of shoe fits me best for running.

2. Fed Up
Have you heard about the documentary Fed Up? It’s on netflix now and I watched it this week. It was very intriguing. It talks about how we’re all hyped up on an overload of sugar. I’ve always known that sugar was in practically everything, but I guess I never really understood how the body processes it. It was definitely something I’d recommend watching. I’ll be more cautious about my sugar intake from now on.

3. Daredevil
It’s official. Ivan and I have gotten hooked on Daredevil. We decided it would be our show, so we’re not aloud to watch it alone. This has proven incredibly difficult for me because I want to watch it all the time. It’s nice to have a show we both really enjoy though.

4. Baseball in a Blizzard
On Wednesday we went to see our local minor league team, the Lansing Lugnuts, play. It was snowing. In April. I was dressed in full parka gear so it wasn’t so bad. You can read about it here.

5. Missing ASOS Order?
This isn’t really a high 5 thing… more of a PSA. Has anyone ever bought something from ASOS? I bought some bathing suits from them about a week ago and they were supposed to be delivered on Wednesday. They never gave me a tracking number, so I googled ASOS shipping to see what was up. I found a LOT of angry people. Has anyone ever had any issues?

Today I am linking up with:
Tif at Bright on a Budget for High Five For Friday
The Farmer’s Wife for Oh, Hey Friday!
Fitting It All In for Five Things

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Blizzards & Baseball

Only in Michigan would it snow during a baseball game. Last night Ivan and I attended a baseball game… in the snow. I had purchased the tickets for an all-you-can-eat BBQ from my alumni association a while ago, so we had no idea it would be snowing. IMG_6643
As you can imagine, the place was pretty deserted. There were maybe 30-40 people with my group, but the rest of the stadium was a ghost town. IMG_6666
We sat right next to the visiting bullpen, which was pretty cool. I was bundled up in full parka gear so it wasn’t too bad. I just felt sorry for the players. Besides the fact that their uniforms weren’t made for snow, playing baseball in cold weather hurts.

I remember it snowed once during a softball game my freshman year of high school. Batting hurts and catching hurts – everything stings when the ball hits. Not a fun combo.

IMG_6664 There was also the matter of poor Humphrey. You see the Lugnuts have this marketing campaign featuring Humphrey. Wednesday is Hump Day, therefore they bring Humphrey out. He didn’t even have a coat. Poor guy must have been freezing.


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H54F: New Kicks & Duds

1. New Kicks
I got two new pairs of running shoes this week. I bought a pair of stability running shoes and tried them out. They were super comfortable when walking, but they hurt my feet when I ran. So I went into DSW and tried on just about every pair they had and ended up falling in love with a pair of Brooks shoes. At first I was kind of put off with the color, but now it’s pretty fond of it. I have my eye on the new pure cadence shoes… they are beautiful! If I really enjoy the brooks I bought I might just get another pair.

2. Digging My Heels Into Running
I’ve really committed myself to jogging. I’ve been going almost every day and I’ve been enjoying it – surprisingly. I’m very excited for when we get to D.C. next month – we’re about 1.3 miles from the National Mall. I think it will be awesome to be able to run in the city. Btw – I’m on Strava & Nike+…. I still haven’t picked out which one I like best. If you’re on either feel free to follow me.

3. Swimsuits for Summer
Last fall I bought a cute retro 2 piece. It has black bottoms and a polka dot top. The top is a bit loose though and it doesn’t stay in place. I picked up two super cute tops on ASOS clearance. I really hope they fit because I’ve always fallen in love with them. swim

4. Quality Time with the Bunny
On Wednesday night I babysat my darling nephew. He was a little cranky, but you know what? That’s allowed. He’ll be a year old on the 27th and he’s such a cutie. I hate to leave him this summer. I think I’ll miss him most of all.

5. Make a Painting, Take a Painting
I know this is kind of cheating, but my 5th pick hasn’t happened yet. On Saturday I’m going to a painting event with my friend Jacquelline. It’s called “making a painting, take a painting”. It’s the first time they’re holding the event, but it sounds like fun. They give you some instruction and you paint. And eat, of course. I rarely do anything that doesn’t involve food. Anyways, once you’re finished you can take a different painting or your own, home. It will be nice to have some girls time.

Today I am linking up with:
Tif at Bright on a Budget for High Five For Friday
The Farmer’s Wife for Oh, Hey Friday!
Fitting It All In for Five Things
Jess at Bless Her Heart Y’all for Celebrate Southern

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Adventures in Working Out

This nice weather has kicked my butt into gear. I’ve never been one to obsess over working out, but for the past 2 years, I’ve been more into it. I got myself a gym membership and went pretty regularly; usually sticking to the arc or the elliptical.

My two best friends are runners. Personally, I’ve never been into it. But a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to give it a go. I dropped my gym membership (we’re moving soon anyways) and took to the streets.

I’ve been using 5k Runner (couch to 5k), strava and nike+. I’ve found that 5k Runner is incredibly helpful, but I can’t seem to decide on strava or nike+. I’m leaning towards strava though. Nike+ doesn’t let you export the data yourself and you can’t keep a log of ALL your workouts. With strava I can download my data (and it syncs with MFP & Garmin Connect). It’s really off on the calories burned though. I don’t know whats up with that.

Anyways, I’ve also been doing workout videos during my off running days. I’ve found that I really enjoy the Lacey Stone videos available on Youtube BeFit. There are also a number of Jilian Michaels videos up there – those are always tough. I did this video last night and it was a great workout.

There is also a free yoga site that I’ve been utilizing – doyogawithme.com. I’ve only tried out a few videos, but I love the After Work Yoga and the Pre-Running and Post-Running sets.

Do you workout at home? What kind of exercises do you do on your own time?

Today I am linking up with:
Jess at Bless Her Heart Y’all for Celebrate Southern

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H54F: Jogging, Reading & An Apartment Search

1. Girls Night at the Film Fest Opening Party
Last night I attended the “red carpet” party for the Capital City Film Festival Opening. The event was located at the Beer Grotto, which will officially open on Saturday. I went with my friend Sarah and then ran into my old roommate, Maurica. It was a great time and I really enjoyed the Beer Grotto. It’s a craft beer place that was really chill. They also had free menu samples. Everything was delicious.


2. Getting My Jog On
I’m really very proud of myself. I’ve said this a few times before, but I have always hated running. But I’ve put my foot down and have been sticking to it and it’s gotten a lot easier. I’ve gone for 4 jogs this week.

3. Summer Housing Fiasco
I thought we had a place all figured out for the summer. I found the perfect studio in D.C. to rent, but then someone swooped in before us and put a down payment on it. So now we’re back to square one. I think we’re going to end up subletting Ivan’s friend’s apartment… which means we’ll probably have a roommate. I don’t love that idea, but I’m alright with it.

4. Back on the Reading Train
I was able to get through 2 books this week, which has put me back on track with my goodreads reading challenge.

5. Fun Friday Night
I know this is kind of cheating, but I’m excited for tonight. It’s one of my friends birthdays, and we’re all going out. I haven’t really been out to a bar for a long time. I went to the film festival opening last night, but that was at 5pm. I’m looking forward to a fun night out.

This past week has been an eventful one. I’ve been trying to squeeze in as many workouts as possible, since I’ve been slacking the past few months. I’ve taken up jogging, which is a big deal for me. I have always hated running, so it’s an odd experience. I actually like going, which is a huge change.

Weekly Stats

Saturday (jog)
Sunday (jog)
Monday (yoga)
Tuesday (jog)
Thursday (jog)

Books Read:
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Entwined by Heather Dixon

Today I am linking up with:
Tif at Bright on a Budget for High Five For Friday
The Farmer’s Wife for Oh, Hey Friday!
Fitting It All In for Five Things

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Reading Challenge Update

Are you guys familiar with goodreads?  Before I started Midwest Darling, I ran a book review blog for a few years. I became obsessed with the book cataloging site. You can keep track of books you’d read and books you want to read. You can also rate and review books as well as see what all your friends are reading.

Goodreads also hosts yearly reading challenges. You can set the challenge to whatever amount you want – this year I picked 50.

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to friend me!

Here are my stats so far for 2015:

Book Total: 11/50 (22%) 2 books behind schedule
Pages Read: 3395
Longest Book Read: 493 pages
Books I’ve Read in 2015:

Untitled-2 First World by Jaymin Eve | Switch by Janelle Stalder | The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson | Tricked by Kevin Hearne | The Spirt Keeper by Melissa Luznicky Garrett | The Prophecy by Melissa Luznicky Garrett | The Mephisto Mark by Stephanie Faegen | Stone Guardian by Danielle Monsch | The Torn Wing by Kiki Hamilton | Forever His by Shelly Thacker | Insanity by Cameron Jace

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gazelle training with 5K Runner & Runkeeper

I’ve recently started training to become a gazelle. You see, that is the nickname my boyfriend has given the dedicated, amazing people we see out jogging everyday. We’re in Michigan and believe it or not, there are a few brave gazelles out there that jogged pretty much all winter.

Me? I’ve always hated running. I workout pretty regularly, but I never run. My two best friends are both runners (Lindsay‘s even got a health & fitness blog), but I’ve never gotten into it. I get tired and bored quickly and never really get very far.

However, as you may know, Ivan and I will be moving to D.C. for the summer. We’ve been apartment hunting and options are scare. Options with an in-house gym (in our budget) are very rare. I’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion that I’m going to have to go jogging.

So I decided now that the weather is nice, I should start training my body to run. And you know what? It’s actually been pretty enjoyable. I downloaded this incredible app called 5K Runner. It trains non-runners to be able to run 5K’s. It starts you out with interval training, which makes the entire process much easier. The first run is like this – 5 minute warm up and then you alternate from running 1 minute to walking for 1.5 minutes. You do that (6?) times and then do a 5 minute cool down. Each run becomes slightly more difficult as you progress through the schedule and then after 8 weeks you are supposed to be able to run a 5k.


This is a fantastic resource for a person like me because I don’t know how to run. I know that sounds silly, but I honestly don’t know how to pace my body. Like I said before, I used to get super tired early on in my run and would be ready to give up. I’ve only done two runs so far, but I’ve got nothing but great things to say about it. It doesn’t sound like that great of a workout with all that walking in it, but my legs feel it.

It’s also nice because it alerts you when to switch by voice commands. I’ve heard of interval training before, but I never do it because I hate having to keep track. When it’s time to switch a little voice comes over my music and tells me. It also tells me when I’ve reached the halfway point. That’s something that’s always worried me – I’ll go jogging and then be too tired to come home. I know it’s a silly fear, but I admit to it.

I just wish the app featured some tracking information. I run runkeeper in the background for that. It charts my distance, calories and pace for me. I find it extremely helpful to see this information because it shows my improvement. I’ve used runkeeper for quite a while; whenever I’m on vacation and I am forced to get my workout in with jogging.

But seriously guys, if you’ve been considering taking up jogging, I highly recommend this app. It makes everything incredibly easy and doable.

Do you use apps to track your running or fitness? I also use my fitness pal for calorie tracking and my Garmin Vivofit for daily step counting.

Today I am linking up with:
Her Heartland Soul for Weekend Snapshots
Bless Her Heart Y’all for Celebrate Southern

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