Monthly Archives: February 2014

Valentine’s Day Hiking Adventure

“There are plenty of fish in the sea.”

“True. Too bad I’m in the freakin’ desert.”

;)

HAPPY BELATED VALENTINE’S DAY! I hope you felt some love :) I got the most adorable care-package from home with a new stuffed elephant (& an elephant book mark which is currently placed in the novel Paper Towns.)

Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday which also happened to be the best weather we’ve seen all year. My best friend and I are both *happily* single. (Apparently we suck at fishing.) Meaning our Friday was wide open for a day trip down to my latest obsession: Sedona.

Sedona Selfie (stronglikemycoffee.com)

First stop: Sprout’s. Apples, Bananas, Protein Bars, Pistachios. Check!

Down the mountain we goooooo!

Second Stop: Sedona Chamber of Commerce for my parking pass. $5 for the day or $20 for the year? Seeing as how I’ve been here 3 times in the past 12 days, I got the 12-month pass.

Third Stop: Bell Rock.

Bell Rock Pathway hike Sedona AZ (stronglikemycoffee.com)Kerri and I rode along highway 179 just appreciating the red rock mountains and gorgeous views. It was a beautiful day. One of the things I love about my best friend is the fact that we can spend a solid 48 hours together and never run out of things to talk about or get sick of each other. We both are equally in love with health & fitness, couldn’t have asked for a better hiking buddy :)

Sedona Hike Selfie (stronglikemycoffee.com)

You can’t understand how thrilled we were just to be in 75 degree sunshine. February in Flagstaff is typically freezing. But today, the sun shined its little rays on top of our mountain and we stripped off the winter coats for t-shirts and shorts. HALLELUJAH! My legs can see the light again!

The base of Bell Rock had a dirt trail clearly marked. However as we reached a few forks in the road, several trail markers distinguished separate trails. We followed “Bell Rock Pathway.” I can’t complain because it was a pretty route. But we never actually ascended Bell Rock, just basically walked the perimeter. We were expecting to climb to the TOP of Bell Rock. That didn’t happen. We noticed one of the trail markers on the way back pointing to “Bell Rock Climb.

-_- Well good thing I have a year pass and so we can try, try again! Still, it was just under 4.5 miles and full of awe-inspiring views.

Best friends sedona selfie (stronglikemycoffee.com)***Yes we had to settle for a lot of SELFIES to document our hike…. surprisingly not a whole lot of fellow hikers out for a Valentine’s adventure. (Kerri & I both agreed that an outdoor adventure date would be preferable to a romantic dinner date any day.)***

Another sedona collageWe <3 Exploring.

We got back into my car and headed straight over to

Fourth Stop: Cathedral Rock.

When we asked for a steeper hike, WE GOT IT. Cathedral Rock is one of the most photographed mountains in the Sedona Area, understandably so. It’s incredibly impressive. The word “trail” is loosely interpreted in this sense, because the hike is basically a 45 degree traverse straight up the side of the rock. No dirt/paved trail. We were literally on our hands and knees.

Cathedral Rock Sedona AZ hike (stronglikemycoffee.com)

A sedona climb kerr

Kerri’s hands were red from the dirt and I joked, “Stop playing in the sand!” She quickly corrected me. THEY’RE MINERALS. ;) *Breaking Bad reference* Seriously though, there could be a market for Sedona Sand “All Natural” Tanning solution….look at Kerri’s calves.

Sedona strong (stronglikemycoffee.com)

We stood on top of Cathedral Rock and pictures really cannot do the view justice. You can see miles out to other red peaks and thousands of trees. The hike is worth the view, I promise! We definitely want to go back and hike it again. We were on a bit of a time crunch because we wanted to get back to Flagstaff before dark. But we were also stalling because we weren’t entirely sure how we would get back down…

Cathedral Rock Hike Sedona AZ (stronglikemycoffee.com)

It was a treacherous descent!

Cathedral Rock Hike descent (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Kerri was literally hugging the side of the mountain at one point. 22 minutes later we made it down without any twisted ankles!

Fifth Stop: Pink Java Cafe. The day would not be complete without coffee. A Valentine’s Special “Honey Latte” for the road!

I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day no matter what you did. It’s up to us to make the most of our days :) Until my Mr. Fish comes along, I’m glad I had my best friend to spend this LOVEly day with!

Cathedral Rock Sedona AZ (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Cheers!

Yesterday. I crushed my finance exam. I ran a stellar six miles (in a t-shirt, in February). Oh and I turned 21.

Couldn’t have asked for a better birthday! Last night I got to celebrate with my best girlfriends :)

Taverna Birthday Dinner (stronglikemycoffee.com)Of course I am all about the healthy lifestyle. So…how does alcohol fit into that? Well I believe a healthy lifestyle includes splurging in moderation. Alcohol is one of those splurges. I was not about to get white-girl-wasted on a Wednesday night with an exam the next morning at 8am, but I definitely ordered my first cocktail: Skinny Acai Lemonade. Tart & delicious!

Skinny Acai Lemonade (stronglikemycoffee.com)**I was slightly disappointed when the waitress didn’t even ask for my ID. I was ready to get carded for the first time!**

my first drink. pucker up! (stronglikemycoffee.com)My dad asked me if I felt “21.” NO WAY. If I were to walk into a bar I would still feel like I wasn’t allowed in. The thing I’m most excited about is country night at one of the restuarants downtown. Country music, line dancing and yard jars <3 And more excuses to get together with my best friends!

Best friends at birthday dinner (stronglikemycoffee.com)

three best friends (stronglikemycoffee.com)

My birthday workout wasn’t as structured as last year’s birthday workout but it got the job done! Starting as soon as I woke up with a core routine that included three sets of:

  • Plank (front & sides)
  • Push-ups
  • V-ups
  • Russian Twists
  • Burpees
  • Leg Lifts
  • Bicycles
  • Hip Bridge
  • Plus 20 minutes of the elliptical

Wednesdays I have a 50-minute kickboxing class with Kerri, but the instructor treats is more like a martial arts class….we “played” with PVC pipes and practiced a little self-defense. Highly entertaining and hardly a workout. I followed it up with 6 miles in the gorgeous weather. (My first birthday here without a snow storm!)

And THAT is how I justify my “birthday shot” (not exactly sure what it was, but there was whip cream & a cherry on top!) and the TWO desserts my roomie Becca made. Apple Crisp & Peanut Butter Cookies.

Got my birthday crown (stronglikemycoffee.com)

At least my meal balanced it out with some actual nutritional value. I got a spinach berry feta salad with salmon :) The only time I eat meat is when I go out because I detest cooking it myself.

Berry Feta Salad with Salmon (stronglikemycoffee.com)Loved that we all had an excuse to dress up and wear heels. Thanks to my friends and parents I now have a grown-up set of wine glasses, charms, cork screw and wines (not sure if they’re good, but the bottles are cute & that’s all that matters!).

My favorite beverage is still coffee though ;)

partial birthday group (stronglikemycoffee.com)

CHEERS!

Observations from a College Gym

I failed to deliver my aforementioned funny gym observation post didn’t I….

Well it is probably still Tuesday somewhere in the world, right? Now that I fixed a healthy post-workout snack, let’s go!

Greek yogurt and blueberries recovery snack (stronglikemycoffee.com)

****As a college student I have access to our “recreation center,” easily my favorite place on campus. Daily workouts in the gym and countless hours on cardio equipment means you get to see a lot of interesting things****

1. NAPPERS. The other morning, I hit the gym before class. It must’ve been around 8am, which is early by college campus standards. As I turned the corner of the indoor track, I saw a girl asleep on a yoga mat. Just right there, out in the open. Not even a yoga pose or anything, just full out NAPTIME. What did you come to the gym for? Pretty sure sleeping in a gym burns about the same amount of calories as sleeping in your own bed…..

2. GAS MASKS. I’m not sure where this came from, but someone has the idea that wearing a gas mask in the gym will improve their workout. Whether or not this is true, it scares the hell out of me every time they walk by! Wearing a protective military contraption to the gym? Calm down, bro.

3. SNACKERS. If you are exercising for a considerable amount of time, I understand the need to eat mid-workout. Walking at 3 mph on a treadmill watching TLC’s “Extreme Cougar Wives” doesn’t exactly demand immediate caloric-intake. I have seen girls on multiple occasions eating a “protein bar” WHILE WALKING ON THE TREADMILL. The sugary/processed/nasty kinds that are basically a glorified candy bar. I just want to laugh because they are literally cancelling out their efforts.

4. The CLOTHES. Can we talk about gym attire for a minute? Like I am ALL FOR coordinating your shirt to your shoes to your headband. If getting dolled up makes you feel confident and have a better workout, go for it. I usually don’t worry too much about my hair because I sweat so much that it looks like I just jumped out of the shower anyways ;)

However. LEGGINGS ARE NOT WORKOUT PANTS! They are made of cotton, are super thin, and basically become see-through when you stretch or bend over. Girls wearing leggings: your underwear are 100% visible and 100% tacky. Workout capris should be made of spandex or nylon so they can stretch without exposing your polka-dot thong.

5. MIRROR GAWKERS. I will forever & always be amused by the gym-goers who frequently pass by the mirrored-walls, shamelessly admiring themselves. It’s even better when the dudes casually lift up their shirts to expose their “abs.” If you are trying to impress someone, you just look like a tool. There is a fine line between a glance in the mirror and a full-on stare down with yourself. Gotta love their confidence though!

Silliest gym behavior you’ve noticed….GO!

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