July 31, 2014

Feeling Blessed

Happy Thursday! I am just stopping in to announce that I am feeling wholeheartedly blessed, and it feels fulfilling. Not only am I blessed because of the blessings for my family but also for my close friends and extended family. Those close to me are getting job promotions, announcing pregnancies and healthy births, and everyone is in good health. What else could I desire?


July 28, 2014

Liebster Award

It is not everyday that one is honored with an award, but about two weeks ago, I was nominated for the Liebster Award. So, what is a Liebster? Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. I would like to believe that I encompass all those adjectives; thank you very much!

This award is given to bloggers who have under 500 followers, and are “up and coming”. In doing a Google search I too found some that noted under 200, and even 100 followers. The person who nominated me, going to get to her in a minute, indicated 500; therefore, I used that criteria.

And now a drum roll for one of my favorite bloggers and pageant friends…Ashley from If You Give A Girl A Ring nominated me! Ashley has guest blogged for me regarding the differences between the Miss American Organization and Miss USA pageant systems, she has been a great asset as I improve my blog, and is such a wonderful person. I so enjoy visiting her blog and her YouTube channel. Honestly, follow her!

Ashley blogs about running/fitness, style, food, make-up, travel, and the list goes on! Are you in need of a laugh? Her YouTube videos are absolutely hysterical (and informative). This girl has everything! Some time ago she did a show about the things in her purse, see it here! Who the heck has one of those home suitcase scales? Of course Ashley does! I was on the floor rolling while watching her taste test her Nature Box & Graze monthly subscriptions. Have you tried either? Check out her unboxing videos here.

Liebster Award Rules
1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
2. State 11 interesting facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 500 followers.
5. Create 11 questions for the bloggers to answer.

11 Facts About Me:
1. I was once very, very shy. I was asked to walk in two weddings as the flower girl. In both weddings, I did not walk down the aisle because I was too timid. Instead, I cried and clung to my father (my mother stood in both weddings). I did, however, smile beautifully for the pictures! Ok, not too much has changed.

2. I am an only child. But NOT spoiled, just well taken for.

3. I have known my husband and his family since I was a baby. Like in womb baby!

4. I have never changed a baby’s diaper.

5. My first job was a receptionist at a bank, while in middle school. I then became a dance instructor at 16 years of age. I continued both through college. I did get promoted to a bank teller and it’s why I am such a crazy person about the “family budget.”

6. I won the very first pageant I competed in, Miss Florida American Coed, in the Teen Division. I then went on to place 4th runner-up at nationals.

7. I, however, competed in 13 preliminary pageants before actually wining a preliminary title to vie for the title of Miss Florida (MAO).

8. I entered University of Florida as a Business major but then switched to Psychology after my sophomore year.

9. I took only a semester off from my graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to fulfill my reign as Miss WI USA 2008 and prepare for the Miss USA pageant. To say it was a little stressful is an understatement.

10. I never imagined myself obtaining a PhD; the opportunity kind of “fell in my lap.” With that said, I am glad that I did continue my education as my career opportunities are endless!

11. My dream job would be to be a wedding/event planner (same as Ashley) or private investigator. If you knew me in college, you would chuckle at the PI role.

What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
I love the outlet for my thoughts and rants. My blog is about a whole lot, kind of a hodgepodge of my life – fitness, health, pageantry, coach’s wife. But, also about nothing just lots of rambling and "stuff!" I enjoy having a place to document what is going on for Team Kemp, my latest fitness journey, and life in general.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you travel and why?
Bora Bora, but I would take any tropical destination to be honest. 

What’s a talent you wish you had?
This is easy! Being creative and artistic, like those DIY bloggers I follow. I just lack in the ability to execute anything with paint, a hammer, needle/thread; you get the picture. I too am not that great with interior decorating, unless you count buying the showcase floor!

What is your favorite movie?
I am weird, and do not have a favorite movie.

Your most treasured possession.
I am not hugely sentimental. I do treasure a ring that my mother recently gifted me. It previously belonged to my maternal grandmother who passed during childbirth (to my own mother).

What’s your favorite thing to cook?
Well in my bachelorette days, it was salad! In general I try to cook healthy meals, and love Pinterest for inspiration. I often make my turkey mash, turkey meatballs, and many chicken dishes. Coach Kemp too enjoys cooking, or rather, grilling, so I get him to do that as much as possible. 

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Save it! LoL, so not my pageant response. I would first give money to my parents and in-laws so they could officially retire and move in with Coach Kemp and I. That would mean we would need to buy a new house, and then I would save all the rest J. Yes, Coach Kemp, you would still have to work!

What’s your ideal Saturday?
Shopping, lunch and/or dinner out, and begin it all with a quick workout at CrossFit SEO

What are your hobbies?
Working out, blogging, volunteering (and shopping).

Advice you’d give a new blogger?
Don’t let the fact that you have a minimum number of followers deter you from blogging. This is something that I remind myself of frequently. Decide why you chose to begin blogging, and stay on that train. If others find you interesting and worth following; they will find you. So this also means to be yourself!

What’s your favorite quote?
Cheeky: "You can never be overdressed or overeducated." Oscar Wilde

Serious: "Think positive and positive things will happen."

My 11 Nominees
All Dressed Up In Love
And One Love
Brains of the Outfit
Curtis Family
From Miss USA to MBA
Hello Stripes
Julie’s Running Blog
Married to the Coach
Mom’s Little Running Buddy
Pug Plus One
The Chance Clan

 11 Questions for My Nominees
  1. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would be essential for your survival?
  2. Why did you start blogging?
  3. What are you wearing right now?
  4. If you could take a magic pill for the perfect body and health, would you take it? Why or why not?
  5. What is on your Christmas or Birthday list?
  6. At what age would you want to live for eternity?
  7. Where do you live, and what is great about that city?
  8. Name an important quality you look for in a friend/partner.
  9. What is your favorite dessert?
  10. Your best and worst quality.
  11. Your favorite holiday is, and why?

July 21, 2014

Boardwalk Empire Overload

This weekend I watched all Season 1 episodes of Boardwalk Empire!

Sure, I am a little late to be jumping on the Boardwalk Empire bandwagon! Actually, I did watch many episodes (Season 1-4) over the last few years with Coach Kemp but not on a consistent basis. So why the sudden surge to watch Seasons 1-4?

Well, the last and final season of the HBO hit series is coming upon us, and I figured I should catch up and really understand the story plot so I can enjoy it with Coach Kemp!

Do you ever watch a whole season of a show in  a weekend? Or, am I the only oddball?

Last year Coach Kemp got me the first four seasons of Downton Abbey which were supposed to get me through the basketball season! Well, I watched them all in one month!!! I can't wait for season five of that series.

I actually prefer to watch a series after its heyday, so that I can do just that - watch them all quickly! I am not patient enough to wait until next week for the next episode, I just want to get it to it!

Another series that is on my to-watch list is Orange is the New Black! What other series are you addicted to?


Question of the Day: Am I the only crazy person that prefers to watch series after their heyday so you don't have to wait until next week to watch the next episode?

July 17, 2014

Athens Famers Market

Yesterday, Emil Ryan, wife to OU Assistant Coach Will Ryan, and I had an Athens Farmers Market date!

I enjoy going to the farmer's market on Wednesday because it is not as busy as Saturday. I failed at picture taking, only getting a photo of my purchases (below), but it's just not as congested and I can think and price check before going in for my acquisitions.

I have also decided that Wednesday is the more "economical" day to shop at the market since it's not as busy. I have not really compared shopping on Wednesday verse Saturday, but it seems logical so I am sticking to it. You know, maybe Wednesday is the day in which the vendors are trying to sell the produce and products not sold from Saturday's market. I explained this to Emily, and she seemed to buy into my rationale.

Emily and I arrived at around 10:45am, and did a slow stroll to check out what the vendors were selling. Now, the farmer's market isn't that big, it's cute and intimate, but I still utilize my strategy of doing a once around before making ANY purchases as I used to do at the Madison Farmers Market.

If you are ever in the city of Madison, WI; I highly recommend that you check out Madison's "Saturdays Around the Square!" Now this is an excursion; wear your tennis shoes, come hungry, and enjoy the beautiful capital of Wisconsin!

Athens Farmers Market Produce for $11
3 Zucchini - $2
Pint of Blueberries - $4
Basil - $2
Green Beans - $3

I have been extremely pleased with all the produce and products purchased at the Athens Farmers Market. Coach Kemp can differentiate the fruits and veggies that were bought at the local grocer verse the market, which is comical to me.

I have been on a zucchini noodle kick, and also highly recommend one purchasing the Veggetti. I purchased mine for like $15 at Wal-mart about two weeks ago. Since then I have made so much zucchini noodles that I am afraid I may turn green! Coach Kemp also is a big fan so that is great. He is not a fan of spaghetti squash so I was a little hesitant when I first made zucchini noodles. He thinks the zucchini more tastes like spaghetti than a squash. Whatever, I am fine with that!

I too have been making lots of pesto, hence the basil. Specifically, this Clean Eats Pesto which uses walnuts instead of pine nuts is super delicious and uber easy to make! And then my recent recipe is Paleo friendly, Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Cream Sauce which mimics alfredo sauce! Get in my tummy now good!

Question of the Day: Do you frequent your city's farmers market? What do you buy?


July 16, 2014

Superhuman Power

This is a way random post, kind about nothing, but about something too!

After I had my semi-fail DYI job (read about that here), I got to pondering what other skills I wished I endowed. This got me thinking (don't ask how) about what superhuman powers I may desire to gain as well.

Now, if you are familiar with pageant world (as a contestant, parent, and/or spectator), you may have heard this question asked in Interview or On-Stage question. I must admit, I have not heard the question used in a while, obviously I am showing my age here. But nonetheless, I have used the question with pre-teen and teen age divisions, so I figured I should think of a good response myself.

Like any good pageant girl, I used my tips for perfecting my interview skills (here, here, and here). 

My first step was to pick out a few common superhuman powers and decide if any of them were something I wished to posses. Confession - I am not too knowledgeable of science fiction and action films, so I first did a quick Google search for "superhuman powers." Wow! People really get into this stuff, uh! I figured Wikipedia was the easiest source to use, so that is what I used (page here). Here is my thought process.

The first type of superpower listed is Superpower Interaction, which refer to one's ability to manipulate or otherwise interact with superpowers themselves. If you are lost by that definition, please do not worry, I too was like "what in the world!" Ok, so then there were five subcategories (superhuman powers is a serious business). Well, just to be short, none of these superpowers tickled my fancy. I mean some of them were downright mean. For example, power negation, is the ability to cancel the powers of others. Ok, I could only see this as a positive if someone's superpower's was acid generation or something. Next!

Another type is ESP, the ability of extra-sensory perception and communication. And, a few did peak my interest but nothing was 100%. Eight ESP types were listed (astra projection, cross-dimensional awareness, empathy, mediumship, precognition, psychometry, telepathy, and technopathy). If you guessed that the underlined ones were ones that peaked my interest you get an A. But, let me explain why I did not settle on either.  On Wiki's definition of empathy as a superhuman power it states: "ability to read or sense the emotions and/or control the emotions or feelings of others." I had a problem with being able to (a) control the feelings of others and (b) to accurately read them. I am a Libra, and we love balance, equality, and all that lovey-dovey stuff. You can ask Coach Kemp, I am all about allowing others to feel whatever emotions they desire at that time. In my opinion, you do not have to agree with their emotional-state, but you should be understanding of their feelings, and even meet them where they are. Secondly, I am not too sure I am interested in accurately reading the emotions and feelings of others. I myself do lots of "self talk" and have "irrational feelings" from time to time that I would not want others to be privy of. The only part of "empathy" as a superhuman power that I liked was "sensing" others emotions and feelings. I do believe this would aid in being a good friend and partner. Ok, then there was telepathy - the ability to read the thoughts of, or to mentally communicate with others. Again, the first part was not settling well with me, but I would like to mentally communicate with others.

By this point in my superhuman power decision-making I was beginning to get a little bummed! Is there any superhuman power on this list that would make me content. 

Alas, two superhuman powers caught my attention. One from the Mentality-based Abilities and the other from the Physics or Reality Manipulation list.

Back when still in undergrad and graduate school, I would have cherished innate capability, the ability to know or understand something without the need for studying or previous exposure.  The ability to get straight As with little to no effort would have been glorious. Unfortunately for me, I do not nor did I possess such a quality. On more occasion than I would like to admit, I tried that "I am too cool for school/studying" routine in undergrad and got bit in the rear! The first time occurred my freshman year, first semester. I took a Geology course, which I had too taken in high school as an AP course. Of course I thought it was would be an easy A. Guess who got a C! It was the first C I had ever received in my entire life. To say that I was distraught was a complete understatement, but a good life lesson as well. And then there was Macro-economics. Now I do think I gave more effort, but that was the final nail in the casket that led me to change majors from Business to Psychology, which I had always longed to do anyways. 

I giggled when I saw, omniscience, the ability to know anything and everything. This seems pretty appealing, but know I am too opinionated for such a power. I do know that knowledge is power, but there are some things you may not need to be too knowledgeable about. I  wrote about that here when discussing why I do not learn the game of basketball!

The superhuman power that I would like to posses today would be time manipulation, the ability to affect the flow of time by slowing, accelerating, reversing, or stopping it. I purposely striked out reversing time because that is too similar to time travel, the ability to travel back and forth through time, which does not interest me. I would not desire to go back in time because I believe that my past has shaped me today. All those trials and tribulations have made me a stronger person, so what would be the purpose in changing those events? I, however, would love the ability to slow down time, and then rush forward if having a bad day! 

There you have it, my pageant response and decision-making process on which superhuman power I would like to posses.

Question of the Day: What superhuman power would you want to posses and why?


July 15, 2014

DIY verse BUY & My Distaste for Pinterest

Let's have a serious conversation.

Ok, got your glass of wine or cup of coffee? 

Please tell me why I think I have the innate ability to be creative and artistic like those people I follow through blogland. Honestly, I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest, and all those DIY blogs!

I have come to the conclusion that I was not blessed with the DIY gene. You know I completely embraced that for my wedding. My mother and I did very limited DIY projects. The one that we were/are most proud of is my invitations...

No, we did not actually print the invitations ourselves! If that were the case, I would be boasting and submit them for a wedding website/magazine. What we did do, was add the double-heart embossed stamp over the return address flap and on the cover of the invitations. We too had to glue the actual invitation to the tri-fold card-stock, and then glue and bow the entire package. Let's just say it was a family affair, including pops, during Easter break 2012. 

And then the second DIY was for the seating chart... 

From afar it looks like a place setting, but as the guests approach, they find their name and it then indicated the table number for dinner. As the namecards were removed, don't worry it did not go blank, we had a duplicate on the card board. This was a grand idea, but a huge feat to accomplish.

For starters, all those RSVPs nearly killed me! We waited until the 99th hour (aka the week of the wedding) to put this contraption together, but it did not go without a few bumps. In the end it turned out the way I had envisioned, so I guess the turmoil was worth it. 

Honestly, there was not much DIY in those two examples except for assembling. So why in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks do I now think I posses the abilities to successfully complete Pinterest-worthy projects for home decorating.

Which leads me to my current predicament. Where is my bottomless account for home decorating? Coach Kemp, I am talking to you?

With Coach being gone and no school in session, I have had a lot of "free" time on my hands. Typically, free time warrants swiping of the debit card, which has ensued on multiple occasions, but I also have found some unearthly idea that I am now creative and can pull off those DIY projects from Pinterest. I mean, I even have a board entitled "Just Don't Break A Nail." I may re-name it to "Wish Upon a Star" or "Think Again." 

My first attempt at spray painting and sprucing up an old, inexpensive white dresser was a semi-fail. Semi-fail because (a) it looks decent from afar and (b) it photographs well; HOWEVEVR, up close it is a little questionable. Because of A & B, I am not too ashamed to post it on my blog!

Please excuse the clear flower vases, I am trying to think of dresser accessories. This piece sits on the second-floor landing, and serves as a storage for health and beauty overages (e.g., soap, razors, lotion, etc.). We are very limited with storage options!

Also, since we are renting, I can't paint any of the walls, so I am constantly staring at a lot of white. But, I am not even sure if painting would be a good idea. I am horrid at picking out paint colors, and lets not even begin with Team Kemp painting excursions. Coach and I painted our master bath and my dressing room in our Toledo residence, and we vowed to never do that again in efforts of staying married. When we moved out, I hired a painter to paint a few rooms for our tenants. Prime example of BUY superseding DIY! 

I did a quick search for navy dressers and found these two options that are somewhat similar to my piece.

Inexpensive Find: On Sale for $368.00

Pricier Find: $1859.00

My final verdict is that I suck at DIY but my bank account is happy I went with this option. We purchased two of the dressers last year from Ashley's Furniture. I found a similar dresser at Sears for $159.99, and that price sounds about right. +/- $150. The spray paint (two bottles), sand paper, and plastic throw were $18 at Lowes.

In the end, I give myself a C.


July 14, 2014

Athens 6 Week Update!

Happy Monday folks! I know, I was MIA for a little bit! You forgive me, right!? Good, I love you for it!

Team Kemp has officially resided in Athens for 6 weeks and I am proud to announce that I love it! I know, this city girl actually loves the college-town of Athens, OH! Can you believe it? I am a little shocked to be honest!

If you have been following my blog, all 4 of you, you know I was anxious about the move. For starters we had just moved from Fargo, ND to Toledo, OH and I was finally feeling "settled." Part of my angst for our move to Athens - was simply that we were moving AGAIN!!! You can read about that in this post.

Then there was the obvious, I am a city girl, and was moving to a city that's focus is the university. Now I did view this as a positive, and still do. It is so awesome to walk around town and see students and others adorning Ohio University gear! Like super awesome. NDSU and Toledo both have a great fans base, but being a coach's wife, it is really nice seeing Ohio gear everywhere you go, even in the local restaurants! I did attend undergrad at the University of Florida which too is a college-town, but being a student, I had no perspective of living in Gainesville as an adult. It was challenging at first to imagine myself being an adult in a college-town. I am here to report, it is going just fine!

Granted I have only lived here for six weeks, I can announce that there is more happening than simply the university! Athens is home to some of the most beautiful trails and parks, in my opinion. On Saturday, I had the opportunity to run the Sells Park with some members of CrossFit SEO! Wow, just beautiful, and you would never even guess that the trail is tucked behind East State Street! Check out the Athens Trail Network, I am giddy just looking at all the options!

And talking about CrossFit SEO!!! Love my gym!!! The instructors are beyond amazing!!! (Wow, lots of exclamation points for those few sentences, lol.) For starters they are all super knowledgeable about CrossFit, proper form; and then top it off with their great personalities. I will forever cherish Renegade (Toledo) and Maximum Performance and Fitness (Fargo), but I again struck gold with CrossFit SEO!!! Just realized, that I previously raved about them in this post too.

Along with fitness, I have a love for the Athens Farmer's Market. Coach Kemp recently got some bummer dental news, so we have removed all extra sugars from our diet. Prior to this realization, we too had discussed lowering our dairy-intake overall. The farmer's market is convenient and open three days a week in the summer (Wednesday, Thursday [in the evening], and Saturday). I have been buying a large portion of our veggies and fruits from the market, swoon!

My shopping fix, or obsession, has been met with our new subscription to Amazon Prime. Not so sure where Coach Kemp and I have been, but hello free shipping! Even if I were living in a big city, I would still use Amazon. I love that everything can be found on one website. I kind of detest having to visit multiple online stores and even store fronts to find what I am looking for. Oh, and I am excited to check out the TJ Maxx in Parkersburg, WV which is only like a 45 minute drive. And if I just need a quick fix, then I head over to Uptown Athens where there are a number of cute stores! I am looking forward to stopping by Nelsonville too for some shopping as well.

Are you wondering about restaurants? Well, Athens has that covered too! We try to dine at the restaurants that buy local foods, those 30 Mile Meal  restaurants, and they have all been delicious. A few of my favorites include: Zoe Fine Dining, Casa Nueva, Sol Restaurant & Run Bar, and Crumbs! I too had a slight obsession with Insomnia Cookies, but we have placed a ban since we are not eating sugar; thank heavens as my waist band is very appreciative.

But the real reason the last six weeks have gone so wonderful for Team Kemp is because of the amazing people, and ladies in particular, that I have met thus far! Wow! I am beyond amazed at how genuinely friendly everyone is. This of course includes the amazing wives of Ohio Basketball but also extends to other women I have been fortunate to meet, to date. Everyone is so welcoming, inviting me to ladies dates, and functions. My social calendar is popping!!! Whoop whoop! And Prince has been invited to a few of these outings as well.

I know I have only tipped the ice in Athens. I am looking forward to partaking in some of the fun festivals and other outdoor spots like the beach!  Of course I am super pumped for Ohio athletic events, Go Bobcats!


July 1, 2014

Is it July Already!?!

Where did June go? Honestly, I am a little shocked at how quickly June passed by! Did it go by quickly for you?

With a new month ahead of us, I figured I should dust off those June goals, and see how I did. If you remember, I had five lofty goals for the month of June (post here). Check out how I did, and I have a new goal for July!

1) Follow my weekly marathon plan to run the 2014 Parkersburg News Half Marathon in the middle of August. 

July Goal 1: If you read my post from yesterday, you know I have chosen to run the Emerald City Half Marathon instead, and am revamping my training. Basically, I am planning not to kill myself with CrossFit and too many long, long runs. More later!

2) Complete our engagement session album from PhotoBin: I, at times, can procrastinate like the worst of them. Making an engagement session photo album would follow under this category as well as.... Done!

3) Chose photos for our Wedding Album.

July Goal 2:  I found a list of wedding "likes" in a notebook, thanks to this latest move. I still need to narrow it down to 100, but I am close to marking this off the list!!!

4) Follow the eating philosophy learned through Renegade's 7 Week Challenge!

July Goal 3: Start this before July 31st, since I really started being cognizant and planful of my eating yesterday, June 30th! 

5) Unpack from the move: I think this one will be pretty simple! I do want to go through every single box though! While in Toledo, there were a few boxes that just had random things inside of them. I am hoping to unpack and organize EVERYTHING! Done!

Here are a few other things I crossed off my list in June. Yes, I am bragging since I technically got a F, maybe D if being nice. I need to boost my self-esteem and showcase the things I did get done which were not included in the original post, thanks for appeasing me.

  1. Change address on ALL accounts
  2. Registered as a non-degree seeking graduate student at Ohio University
  3. Made some spreadsheets for tax/budgeting reasons
  4. Organized my NCSP (Nationally Certified School Psychologist) licensure credits
4th Goal of July (pun intended):  Kind of associated with Goal #1, but I need to take rest days, stretch, and listen to my body. I discussed this in a previous post (here).

Question: Did you make goals for June? How did you fare?