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Recent Inspirations #2

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post that compiled some ‘Recent Inspirations.’ The format was different than my usual, and I liked the alternative to coming up with my own original content. So I bring you a second dose of things that are currently inspiring me.

Life Inspiration: Empowering Quotes

I’m sure my fellow graduating seniors can relate to how stressful of a situation it is to be 12 weeks away from the end of our college career without a clue as to where our next chapter will take us. Pinterest has some calming quotes for that!

Inspiring words 1And this wonderful reminder for any senioritis sufferers:

Inspiring words 2

One more thoughtful reminder before we move on to something more colorful (because I know sometimes those winter blues/hormones/stress/whatever creep in and temporarily cloud our perspective. In reality, we are pretty lucky souls to have a life with so many possibilities. And yes, I have to remind myself this all the time.)

Inspiring words 3Style Inspiration: Dressing the Part

You will never find me in class in a sweatshirt. Nor will you catch me with leggings as pants. In fact, I avoid pants as much as possible because I find dresses and skirts so much more flattering. It takes a little bit of extra time and effort but I believe that putting together an outfit is an important representation of ourselves. Some people joke that only freshmen wake up at 6:30am to “get ready” for their 8am class…..but I’m in my 8th semester of class and I do this twice a week. What we wear and how we present ourselves can impact our attitude and confidence for the day. To me, it’s a worthwhile habit. My style inspiration (if only the weather here would cooperate…..pencil skirts and parkas kinda clash!):

Style Inspiration 1The shoes! <3

(So many more outfits on my Career Path board!)

Health Inspiration: Nutritious Recipes

Some of the food photography on Pinterest is amazing. They make pictures of granola bars look so fancy! A few recipes I’ve been inspired to add into the weekly rotation:

Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Honey Coconut Apples from Simply Taralynn:

Raw Banana Bread Shake from The First Mess:

And this bouncy workout for a little extra exercise:

health inspiration 3So what else is inspiring?

The series finale of Parenthood.

The song ‘Pretty Good Day’ by Lonestar.

A winning streak by your school’s basketball team.

Hearing a friend talk about falling in love.

Finding a new running trail.

Seeing some pretty big moments coming up on your calendar.

Earlier this week I mentioned by affinity for Echosmith’s album, and after over-playing ‘Bright’ I’ve decided that this is my new favorite:

Feel free to add your own recent inspirations in the comments section :)

People-Watching

My internship with the PGA golf tournament is coming to an end. It has been a steady week of incredible crowds, inclement weather, and hours of people-watching in the herds of over 100,000 spectators in Phoenix, Arizona on this Super Bowl weekend. Let me just say that crowds of people can be highly entertaining. Add in some alcohol (and in this particular scenario, drinks started flowing before 10:00am) and you’ve got a real show on your hands. People Watching blog post at stronglikemycoffee.com

The majority of each day, I stood at the entrance and bar of the sky boxes for Hole 16, notoriously the most rowdy and wild hole on the PGA tour. For example, Francesco Molinari shot a Hole-in-One on 16 this morning and the stadium showered the stands with beer. So needless to say, there was plenty of opportunity to simply people-watch.

People Watcher (Stronglikemycoffee.com)Each day for employees begins in the special parking lot reserved for all staff, including waitresses, bartenders, cooks, cleaning crew members, security guards and other interns. Lines and shuttle rides from the employee parking lot are entertaining enough. I get to hear about the bartenders’ (100% female staff) strategies for pulling the most tips out of their customers. I learned that at the Kid Rock concert last night, his security guard used a false ‘porta-potty’ as a secret door to the rocker and band’s staging area. Our bus driver became suspicious when she saw a bouncer standing outside the potty, and multiple people entering without coming out. Pretty clever disguise for a secret entrance, albeit a smelly one.

I was shocked to learn that the bartenders and waitresses at this event worked strictly off of tips (although, in a $50,000 sky box I’m sure tips will out-haul minumum wage ten-fold) and many of them went straight to their regular jobs downtown after working 9 hours at the golf course. Rockstars and Monsters were the drink of choice; I saw more morning energy drinks than coffee.

People watching in the crowd (stronglikemycoffee@hotmail.com)

People will lie and embellish the silliest stories to try to get into the sky boxes. The things they come up with for a free beer! Some were not so creative (“my friend has my ticket and he can’t come down”) and some were a little far-fetched (“I’m Tiger Wood’s daughter”). Some were very rude (“I’m a senior citizen, I can’t believe you won’t let me in. You are ruining the sport of golf”) and some were desperate (“How much money can I give you to let me up there”). One guy tried to show us a picture of his pass, then took a used pass from another guest, then tried to follow a crowd in. His lime green pants didn’t help him blend in.

Part of the fun of people-watching is the variety of outfits people wear. For men, it’s a pretty standard button-up or t-shirt with jeans and dress shoes. Not too notable. The women though were all over the board with their styles, from Conservative-businesswoman to die-hard-sports-fan, from workout-chic to straight-out-of-Wal-Mart. Some wore adorable rompers and I complimented their classy ensembles. Some wore stilettos and too-skinny jeans and I feared for their ankles in the muddy and wet conditions. Everyone has their own style, and their own comfort level. I really don’t judge anyone for what they wear, but I do find it very entertaining and I found myself playing ‘Who Wore It Better’ in my head all day.

Crowds at Phoenix Open (stronglikemycoffee.com)Along with spectators, I really got to know some fellow employees that also worked at the entrance of Hole 16. Two retired men, John and Dave, greeted guests and scanned their credentials. They certainly had the personality for it. Although John is a soon-to-be grandfather, he was quite the flirt with the ladies and Dave had something kind or funny to say to nearly everyone who walked up. Throughout our days together, I learned that the pair had been friends for years. They were self-proclaimed ‘gym rats’ who had a strict 8am gym routine 6 days a week. In fact, they are so dedicated and so social at the gym that they each received worried text messages while we were working at the golf course from fellow gym-goers who were concerned that neither of them had shown up to the gym for a couple of days. So sweet :) Turns out that Dave was married to another hole-16 greeter, Jenn. They were a retired police officer and a retired fire chief who met in a traffic accident.

It’s now the last day of the tournament and I’m sure the Super Bowl in the same city will attract some of our massive crowds. Have a happy Super Bowl Sunday! Go (Insert your favorite team here)! ;)

Let’s Start Again…

Flagstaff Sunset (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

After 99 days, I’ve returned to blogging. :) I mean it this time! The first half of my senior year of college went very differently than I imagined. I could sugar-coat the year but honestly…..it blew. My schedule was so demanding that I had very little energy to put into anything creative and active.

All Nighter Study Sessions (stronglikemycoffee.com)

But I won’t blame being “busy” on my hiatus. Through the fall (the first fall in 8 years that I was not participating in competitive cross country) I had to think of how I wanted to restructure my blog.  “Student-athlete perspective on health and fitness” isn’t exactly appropriate anymore since A.) I’ll be graduating in 16 weeks and B.) my collegiate athlete days have come to an end. Reading back through a lot of my old posts, Strong Like My Coffee sometimes comes across like a “how-to” guide to being healthy. Well I’m not qualified to offer constant health and fitness advice, so I figured a little change in objectives was in order here.

This began as a platform for sharing workouts, recipes and health advice. Turns out you can find the same workouts on 63,783,564 sites in this world wide web. My recipes are simply copies or altered versions of other recipes. And as far as “advice”…..I just feel a little silly pouring out health and fitness tips as a 21-year old figuring it out myself.

Obviously my life will always be connected to health and running, but I’m not a health preacher or teacher. I don’t know it all! I would definitely say that a contributing factor to my lack of posts last semester was fear of looking like a hypocrite. Sharing the workouts and the smoothies and the salads without also sharing the frozen yogurt, the skipped run, or the extra peppermint mochas would seem deceiving. Like most bloggers, I can always share my own experiences with striking balance & a healthy lifestyle but I don’t see my blog as a guide or a “how-to” for health and fitness. Not a guru, just a girl who likes to run :)

Halloween with the blondies (stronglikemycoffee.com)

So then I thought about quitting the blog altogether. I absolutely did NOT want this to become: a journal, diary, or place to brag, complain, vent, preach, or glamorize my life. It’s a tricky balance to create content that is entertaining and positive and focused around a theme. But I don’t like quitting. ;) So I’ve decided to expand my “theme” beyond straight health & fitness to all things domestic…

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned in the past two years of posts, but I am fascinated with the 1950’s and the housewife culture. I am, by no means, a feminist. Not that I judge anyone’s opinions on gender roles in the 21st century, but I personally like the Donna Reed era (It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my favorite movies). It’s emphasis on dressing feminine and classy (heels, skirts and bows), domestic duties like cooking, baking and cleaning, and maintaining discretion (AKA a little social-media-modesty) is refreshing.

Domestic Duties homecooked dinner

I would like to keep my apartment organized and decorated, prepare and cook all of my (mostly healthy) meals, make a mean mojito or manhattan, send thank you notes, read more books, make more phone calls, write and blog, watch the news, take walks outside, curl my hair, paint my nails, and learn to host a cocktail party (sans red solo cups). So why not blog about that (there’s only so many running recaps and protein smoothies you can take anyways, right?!)

Sunflowers

More Memories, Less Selfies.

I even created a “Domesticated” Pinterest board with more elaborate and hearty recipes for when I cook for other people (because apparently not everybody craves arugala and fennel.)

So what are my New Year’s Resolutions?

I HAVE NONE.

January 1st just felt like another day, not an impending deadline to come up with new goals. Plus 2015 is full of big moments (graduating college!!!!) and the unknown (finding a job???) that I would rather take as it comes. :)

Beach Hike

Christmas on the beach, only in So Cal :)

I’m optimistically thinking my upcoming semester will be significantly better than the previous. But instead of promising that I’ll start posting more, I’ll just prove it to you. ;)

-Love Kenzie

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