Friday, January 27, 2012

Fun Fact Friday


Today is fun fact friday and it's time for some new information about Africa!!!

1. The current population of Africa is approximately 1 billion people
2. One quarter of the world's languages are spoken in Africa
3. Four of the Five fastest animals live in Africa: the cheetah, the wildebeest, the lion, and the Thomson’s gazelle 
4. Africa is the poorest and most underdeveloped of all the continents in spite of it's wealth of resources
5. Central Eastern Africa is believed to have been the origin of humans - specifically Ethiopia (right beside Rwanda)
6. Islam is the largest religion of Africa, Christianity being the second

The Living Room and some Brownies

Happy Friday out there to everyone. I will be doing a Fun Fact Friday later on in the day, but wanted to do two things that I've been meaning to do all week - 1) talk about my brownies I made on Tuesday and 2) show you how the living room is coming along.

I'm always amazed at how much difference a can of paint can make. Our living room before had tan carpets, tan walls, then we added a brown couch and had a lamp that gave off a yellowish light. We spend so much time in that room and it was annoying how dark it was. 


This is the day we moved in. The dungeon awaits. We have a screened in porch and it has a roof on it that acts as a porch off of our bedroom, which is nice. But all the browns with the lack of light make for a dark room. 

Here it is at christmas. I tried to add some light and some decor but it still was ssssooooo darkkkkkk

This is how it's coming along. We've got paint on the walls!! It already looks a million times brighter!!!

The next step - we're painting the fireplace a light grey and then painting the mantle piece white. I used the fabric in the pillows to pick the paint color. 



I used a recipe I found on Pinterest from Brown Eyed Baker

Recipe - 

The Baked Brownie
Yield: 24 brownies
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time : 30 minutes
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.

4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.
7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

YUMS!! They were so good!!!! We ate them all. Yes. We. Did. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Crossfit Fundamentals & Clemson Football

I read an interesting article this morning about Clemson's Strength and Conditioning program on Shakin The Southland. The main theme of the article is comparing power lifting vs olympic lifting and which method is more effective. It's interesting how the article suggests (based on research and interviewing athletic programs around the US) olympic lifting and the benefit of using power are much greater and translate easier to athlethic performance vs how much weight can I lift.

Power Lifting uses key lifts such as bench press, squat and deadlift while Olympic lifting uses lifts such as clean, jerk and snatch. The difference is that one, the latter, not only develops strength but also fast twitch muscles which in turn help prepare for quick movements on the football field.

It's fairly technical, so you may not be interested but I do think it's a testament to Crossfit and the ideology behind it. When comparing football programs, teams using olympic lifts vs power see better results.

We can go back to the idea of what is your goal? Are you just doing strength training for aesthetic results? Or are you trying to train for a sport? Or do you just want to be healthy? If you're just doing it to have abs like Jillian, you can do either one and really need to alter your diet drastically, but for performance based results and overall functional movements, incorporating olympic lifting has been proven to yield better results.

Your thoughts??

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Jamie is the bomb!!!

What am I loving today? I have a LOT of loves going on right now!!!

I have been looking for a good brownie recipe that makes cakey brownies vs those flat fudgy ones, and I finally found a delicious recipe - THANK YOU PINTEREST


2. Pasta!!!

I got this recipe in Pinterest again - and it was delish - garlic, olive oil, pine nuts an Parmesan cheese - yums

3. Giada!!!

I found a lentil soup recipe from Giada on Food Network. Added some meat, and cooked it in a crockpot. Yums again!!!

Obviously, I've been cooking a lot. I wish I could just cook all the time. I LOVE IT!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I so slow

Today was my first day back to running after my sickness after my first week back to running after a 2 month break. I've gained a little bit of weight, which is okay, but that coupled with the sickness and the lack of running, I slow. I so slow.

But that's ok because it felt good to get out there and run.

Today's workout -

Warm up mile - I actually didn't end up doing the full mile because I was late because I couldn't find the running pants I really wanted to wear, and I took a new way so the group started running and I caught up with them and got probably half a mile

6 sets of 1/4 mile repeats - my goal was to stay around the 2:40 mark. My first one was 2:30 and then I pretty much stayed under 2:30, ending my 6th lap at 2:19. 

I tried a couple of different ways to speed up. One time, I did 25 strides and then a 15 second rest which resulted in a 2:20 time. One time, I ran 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds slow which resulted in 2:22. Then I did 25 strides fast, 25 strides slow which resulted in a 2:24. My last one, I just ran slow up the hill and ran fast down it which is where I got the 2:19.

*just a reference point - I was running a 1:47, 1:50 quarter mile repeat before - not blowing any doors off but a difference none the less*

The thing I noticed most was my lack of endurance/stamina. I was tired after 6 sets. So, obviously I have lots to build on.

Here is my pattern - I run, get faster, run get faster, run get faster then burn out and don't run for 2 months and get slow again. My goal for 2012 - DON'T BURN OUT.

How do I plan to meet that goal - I am NOT running a half marathon in 2012. I'm focusing only on 5k's and 10k's. That way, I never really have to bang out miles on the weekend and I can focus on getting faster. I think that will really help. I kind of just jumped into marathon running and never really worked on getting faster, hence the reason I'm not fast. So, this will be nice to just focus on speed work/tempo work and not having to do long runs.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Back to Normal

I have been sick for the past week and have laid off of everything as it relates to fitness. I went to yoga on Sunday and had a hard time towards the end of  it, just getting tired and I could tell that I was still recovering. I don't feel great today, but I'm just trying to get back into the swing of things.

What's new with the house -

I added this -

because we need better lighting in the den - it's so dark in there

coffee from a french press is so good

so much easier to bowl water this way 

all of my images came from google shopping search

I keep slowly adding new stuff every weekend. This is my new comforter/quilt in our bedroom 

I am going to change the paint color, add nightstands on each side, etc etc, this is bare bones - but I'm excited about the new quilts

close up - it's a white quilt, and then I got the other quilt to give it some pizazz

Tonight, I'm doing the main site WOD which is - 

"Resting 60 seconds in between sets: Press 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2"
This should be interesting.