Movin’ on up!

Hey y’all!  I have an exciting announcement!!!
I decided it was time to upgrade the little blog, so I asked my friend JR to redesign it for me.  I am so in love with it!  SO – please come check out my new blog (this wordpress one will no longer be updated).  You can go to www.southernfitfoodie.com OR you can type in www.southernfitfoodie.squarespace.com.

Thank you guys so much for reading and supporting southern fit foodie – I know I don’t have a “famous” or “big” blog – but I’m proud of what I do have. :)

So what are you waiting for????  GO, people!  Go now!

much love,

natalie

running and life update

Hey hey friends!  

I know, I know…I won’t even start with my excuses for not blogging.  Let’s just say that I’ve been living life and enjoying it!  I absolutely love blogging and will continue to do it, but whenever it starts to feel like a chore, I make myself step away for a bit.  

The half marathon count down is on!  In five weeks and five days, I will have finished my very first half marathon!  My training has been like my blogging lately – inconsistent.  However, I feel good on my runs and definitely feel like I can rock the 13.1 when the time comes.  Yesterday, I ran 8 miles before church.  I didn’t map out my route before hand to see exactly how long it was, and I ended up having to book it the last 2 miles to make it home in time to get ready to be at church!  It was a good push.

My new running shoes have made the biggest difference in my runs!  I cannot say enough good things about FleetFeet and the Mizuno Wave Riders.  In. Love.

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Next week is football homecoming – yeah – in September.  It’s crazy early, but it’s coming so I guess I better prepare for it!  We are having a TON of cheerleading practices this week and next week, and we are decorating the school this weekend.  Our theme is Back to the Future, and the dress up days go throughout the decades (we even have a futuristic day – I think I’ll make an outfit out of aluminum foil hehe).  Any dress up ideas for me?  I like to go all out! 

Another random thing I want to tell you about is yet another new obsession from Trader Joe’s: Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds.  Seriously – these are the most addicting things I’ve ever eaten.  If you looked up perfection in the dictionary, this is what you would see:

I’m convinced that the little bit of sea salt is what keeps me reaching for just one more, and one more after that.

OH – and big news!  It’s officially my birthday month!  Of course I started celebrating on September 1 (even though my birthday isn’t until the 26th) – we went out for sushi and then frozen yogurt!  Daniel asked me like 3 weeks ago what I wanted (he’s so awesome – I didn’t buy his gift until the day before his birthday…shhhh don’t tell him!  It was a great gift – does that make up for it??), and I originally said I didn’t want anything.  This is very unlike me, because usually I’ll want something for a while and instead of buying it I’ll make it a birthday or Christmas suggestion.  However, I honestly couldn’t think of anything I wanted this year!  Five minutes after I answered with “Nothing.  Seriously – I can’t think of anything.  Let’s not spend any money on my birthday and save it for our anniversary trip or something,” I went in the kitchen to make a smoothie.  Daniel heard me yell, “I know what I want now!!!!!!!!!  A vitamix!!!!!!!”  

It’s only $650…that’s not too much to ask, is it? :)  

One day, my friends, I will own a vitamix, and it will be amazing.  One day.

I know this post is all over the place, but I wanted you to know that I’m still alive and kicking running!  

I hope that you have a GREAT week!

much love,

natalie

so tell me….

What have YOU been up to lately?

What do you want for your next birthday??? 

August Foodie Penpal Reveal!!!

Okay – so I know I’ve been beyond absent in the blog world here lately, but I couldn’t miss out on my monthly foodie penpal reveal post!

 

Big shout out to Lindsay who puts this whole thing together each month!  She rocks!

 

This month, I received a wonderful package from the sweetest Leslie.  Seriously, she is probably one of the most thoughtful people I’ve ever “met.”  She put together a glorious array of goodies, including the cutest tea towel from her recent trip to Disney!

 

 

Clockwise from top left:

TJ’s pecan pralines…seriously amazing and addictive.  They taste just like pecan pie! 

Peeled organic dried fruit – mango, banana, and pineapple.  Yeah.  That didn’t last very long. :) 

Tea towel, mug, tazo iced tea, and mint tea.  Sooo soothing and delicious. 

GoGo Squeez packs – these are great to keep in your purse, and I have definitely been so thankful to have them in my gym bag!  

Mint tea – so good I had to picture it twice! 

Pomegranate fruit strips – I may or may not sneak these into the movies and football games! 

These little babies deserved their very own blog post in all honesty, but since I can only manage to post once a week at the moment, I figured they would have to settle for having their very own picture instead.


Seriously.  Leslie has forever changed my life with these little treasures. They are INCREDIBLE.  My favorite way to enjoy them is to sandwich a little vanilla ice cream between two cookie thins for a coconut ice cream sandwich.  Heaven.  Next time I go to Trader Joe’s, I will be stocking up on these for sure.

Leslie was also so sweet to include a fun toy for my fur babies.  Harley and Clyde were so excited that they got to be a part of Foodie Penpals!

 

In case you haven’t heard of Foodie Penpals, here’s the deal: 

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

If you’re interested in participating for September, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 5th!

The Lean Green Bean

You can check out the box I sent to my penpal, Rachael, here

I hope that you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  I took the day off work today, so I have a FOUR day weekend to hang out with Daniel, friends, and family.  I’m pumped! 

I miss and love y’all! 

Much love,

Natalie

my favorite running day ever

Hey y’all!  

I sincerely hope that you each had a marvelous Monday!  I am just so excited right now because I hit a new running milestone yesterday!

In case you are new around here, I’m training for my very first half marathon.  The race is a little bit less than two months away now, and I’m trying to increase my mileage in an extremely safe way.  However, in the last few weeks, I haven’t been getting in my long runs on the weekends.  Sure, I’ll run two or three short runs during the week (usually 2-3 miles each), but the distance running just hasn’t happened lately.  Last time I ran any sort of long run (for me – remember I’m still a running newbie) was almost a month ago, and it was a six miler.  

Enter Monday: my favorite running day ever.

Yesterday morning, I woke up super early – 4:30 – and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I read my Bible (on my phone via the youversion Bible app – it’s awesome!) for about 30 minutes until my alarm went off.  I hopped up and started getting ready to go out for a run, and I was all set to go at 5:15.  I kissed Daniel goodbye and headed out the door.  Did you know that it’s still pitch black dark at 5:15 a.m.???  It may be just me, but I don’t feel safe running in the black dark with no street lights (too many CSI, Law & Order, and Criminal Minds episodes!).  It was also drizzling rain, so I headed right back inside.  I was determined to run today since I didn’t get a long run in over the weekend.  I packed up all my stuff for the day, took a quick shower, and drove to school to run on the track.

Runhappy

(source)

The track around our football field is one quarter of a mile.  I set out with the goal of running twelve laps, which would equal three miles (I know, I’m an amazing mathematician).  The rain had stopped and it was a cool 62 degrees with a light breeze.  I reached in my bag for my little shuffle, and came up empty-handed.  WHAT??????  NO MUSIC????  HOW WILL I RUN???  Yeah – all those things went through my mind!  I then remembered that I am strong (and extremely stubborn) and could get myself through 12 circles around the track.  As soon as I started, I decided to pray through the first lap.  Then, I decided to pick one thing to pray about for each lap I did.  This seems like no big deal, but I know I am guilty of the 2 minute prayer that encompasses everything, so it was a nice change to really focus on one thing or person and pray about nothing but that for at least two and a half minutes.  I kept thinking of more things that I wanted to talk to God about, so I ended up running 14 laps total (3.5 miles).  The run felt amazing.  I honestly did not even miss the music.  Prayer is such a powerful and peaceful thing, and it was the best start to the day and to the week.  I think this will be my new Monday morning routine!  Anyone else want to join me for a prayer run?

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I went throughout my day planning, teaching, and prepping for the rest of the week.  I had it in my mind that I wanted to get in at least 2 more miles after cheer practice.  When I got home, I was having those “oh, I ran this morning” and “man, I just want to sit down!” thoughts.  I punched those thoughts in the face and mapped out my evening run.  I set out at 6:15 and ran a loop that ended up being 4.15 miles.  That’s right – I, Natalie, the former non-running-enjoyer, ran TWICE in one day for a total of 7.65 miles.  Yep, I’m proud!  On Wednesday, my friend Amy and I try to run after school together, and this week we are planning on either 4 or 5 miles depending on what time we get to start.  It’s supposed to be warm, but hopefully it won’t be too terribly bad.

Runningquote

I still can’t believe all this running talk is coming from me – who have I become?  :)

I hope that y’all have a great day today!

much love,

natalie

so tell me…

Why do you run???

What motivates you the most to get out the door and start your run (or any workout)?

my feet hurt

Oh my gosh, y’all!  It’s been about ninety years since I last posted, and for that I do apologize.  

In-service started last Tuesday, and the kids came for a little while on Friday to get their schedules and set up their lockers.  Do you know how important it is to have a fully decorated locker in middle school (for girls, obviously)?  Let me tell you, it is a BIG deal.  I’m talking lockers fully lined with wrapping paper, shag rugs on the bottom, blinking lights when you open the door, and one girl even has a chandelier!  

Locker

 (source)

This is what I’m talking about!  I believe one girl has this exact locker somewhere on our hallway.  I think I had a mirror and a magnetic white board in my locker in middle school, but that was it.  Funny how things change.

Anyway, so Monday was our first full day, and then last night we had parent orientation.  I was in charge of leading the 7th grade orientation, and I think one parent commented after and said it was like going to comedy hour.  I don’t know if that was a good thing or bad thing for them, but at least I made them laugh!  I am really excited about this year – the kids seem very sweet and enthusiastic about pretty much everything.  Most people don’t understand middle schoolers, but I think they are pretty awesome (and yes, I do know that they are moody, hormonal, clumsy, and generally awkward kids, but it doesn’t bother me on most days).  We’ve only had three days of class, and I’ve already heard some pretty hilarious things.  One kid asked me if I was the type of teacher that was going to threaten to hurt him all the time (???) and several others keep saying “consecration camp” instead of “concentration camp” when discussing our summer reading.  I just love them!

I’ve worn heels everyday (wedges except for today…they may have been 4 inch heels…don’t preach to me about it…my feet already have that covered), and I can tell that I haven’t been wearing them all summer! I got used to living in my Reef flip flops or athletic shoes.  It’s definitely going to take me a little bit to get back into the swing of things – like getting up at 5 a.m. everyday – and I hope to be back to a regular blogging schedule soon.  Until then, random posts will pop up whenever I have a free second.  

I hope that y’all are having a wonderful week!  Catch me up on your lives!

much love,

natalie

so tell me…

what type of shoes do you wear to work?

do you wear heels often?

let’s do this

The time has come.  

Today is my first day back at school for inservice – how is that even possible?  I seriously have no idea where the summer went (but I do know that it was FUN!!).

Although I will miss the freedom of summer, I am very ready to get back into my routine.  

Backtoschool

I picked out my clothes last night (I’ll do my best to remember to take a picture!) and packed up my cheer and gym bag.  Some very kind people are providing breakfast and lunch at school, but I have some extra healthy snacks stashed away as well.  I made some overnight OIAJ and dropped a lara uber bar in my bag.  Hopefully I won’t get too hungry.  :)

This morning’s workout was a good one!  It’s a lower body workout based on exercises Jessica Simpson did to get her legs and booty in shape to play Daisy Duke.  I’ll post it later this week!

Have a fabulous Tuesday! 

much love,

natalie

so tell me…

What will you miss the most about summer?

What are you looking forward to most this fall?

the rest of daniel’s birthday week and my announcement

Is it really already Saturday???  Wow – time flies when it’s your last week of summer break!  

I hope that y’all had a great week and a fun Friday night!

Daniel and I have had a fun week celebrating his birthday (even though he says it’s “just another day” – psh).  For his birthday dinner, he requested chicken and cheese enchiladas, so that’s what I made.  I wanted to make him some type of summer dessert, so I bought some fresh peaches and made a couple of individual peach pies.  I didn’t really have a recipe, so I was surprised with how delicious they turned out to be!

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served hot with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream

The rest of the week was fairly uneventful until we got around to Friday.  I had an early morning haircut appointment (nothing new – just a trim) and then came home to tell Daniel what I had planned for us.  I had told him to not make any plans for the whole day because I had something up my sleeve!  We grabbed lunch at Panera before hitting the road for Memphis.  One of our best friends recently moved to Memphis, so we stopped and chilled with him for a couple hours.  It was SO GOOD to catch up with him!  We did a little shopping and then decided to go to the Cooper Young district to walk around.  Our first stop was Cafe Ole, and then we ended up going to Cortona for dinner.  It’s a contemporary Italian restaurant, and oh my gosh, the food was incredible.  It started with fresh bread and herb compound butter that was delicious.  I asked our server for his recommendation on dinner because I was having a very hard time deciding what to order.  I went with his suggestion and it was one of the best Italian dishes I’ve had in my entire life (seriously!).  I ordered the chicken and asparagus ravioli with walnut cream, pesto, pine nuts, and fresh shaved Reggianno cheese.  I can’t even begin to explain how scrumptious this meal was.  All of the pastas (and pizza crusts) are homemade with imported Italian flour.  Yeah.  It was to die for.  Usually I don’t like to order the same thing at a restaurant, but I would totally get the exact same thing the next time I go.  Daniel ordered the grouper special, and the fish was incredibly fresh and the sides were quite tasty as well.  I wanted to order dessert so badly, but I was already overly full (and it was worth it).  After that, we drove to a cool place in Germantown to hang out for a bit before heading back home.  It was such a fun night, and it was great to be able to spend that much time celebrating Daniel’s birthday.

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sorry for the fuzzy phone pic

Okay, now on to that announcement…

Remember when I said that I was officially training for my first half marathon?  Well, my training has been sidetracked for several reasons over the past month (vacation, the ridiculous TN heat, and some digestive issues), and there is no way I can be ready to run 13.1 miles for the Chicago half marathon in September.  SO, I decided to find another half that was a bit later.  My cousin and her husband told me about the Go Commando half in Clarksville, TN (near Fort Campbell military base).  It’s October 20, so that gives me quite a bit of extra time to train AND hopefully it will be much cooler!!!!  I went ahead and registered for it, so I am officially signed up to run my first half!!!  Since I’m going back to work next week, my schedule will be much more consistent, so I can get settled into a training routine.  I am very excited!  I really hope they have tshirts that say something like “I went commando for 13.1″ hahaha.  Wouldn’t that be funny?  Anyway – I’m a little disappointed about not going to Chicago, but this will definitely be better for me.  I’ve got to get back into my long runs on the weekends. 

 

Daniel is at the duck blind drawing this morning, and this afternoon we are going to church for a bit to work on setting up for tomorrow’s service.  I hope y’all have a great Saturday!

much love,

natalie

so tell me…

What did you do for your last birthday?  

Anybody have a race coming up soon?


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