10 Random Tidbits 2.26.15

Tidbit 1:  I’m starting to love these tidbit posts.  They’re a great way for me to dump all of my random thoughts without trying to come up with a catchy, cohesive story.

Tidbit 2:  This morning we woke up to another {thin} blanket of snow.  I loved snow days as a kid because I didn’t have to go to school.  I loved snow days as a teacher because I didn’t have to go to work.  And now I love snow days as a mom because Little Miss is completely enamored by the magical white fluff.  She could watch it fall all day.

Tidbit 3:  I can’t remember the last time I made a smoothie and to be honest, the last few times we used our blender was to make milkshakes and margaritas {not at the same time}.  But after clicking on all of the links in this article, 9 High-Protein Smoothies That Taste Like a Milkshake, I feel the need to buy all of the ingredients to make all of the smoothies.  ASAP.

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Tidbit 4:  I mentioned last week that we’ve started to look at houses.  I’ve watched House Hunters for years and always got a good laugh at the buyers with the unrealistic list of expectations…  But I’ve realized that I am that person, too.

Tidbit 5:  I’ve also realized that an ugly kitchen is a deal-breaker.  The house could have {almost} everything on our list, but if the kitchen needs a lot of TLC I’m moving onto the next property.  Kitchens are wicked expensive to remodel and I really don’t want to live through months of construction without a working kitchen, especially with an infant.

Tidbit 6:  I tried a LUNA Protein Lemon Vanilla bar for the first time yesterday and I’ll give it a thumbs up…  Unlike the chips I ate yesterday which get two thumbs down.  The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Peanut Butter are still my favorite flavors because they remind me of a candy bar without the guilt.

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Tidbit 7:  I popped a few potatoes into the oven for dinner and between feeding Little Miss, cleaning up her lunch mess, a dog that needed to go outside, and making lunch for myself, I totally forgot about them.  Thank goodness sweet potatoes smell so delicious when they’re roasting, otherwise there’s a good chance that I would have forgotten them until dinner.

Tidbit 8:  I’ve been doing an awesome job with sticking to my half marathon training plan this week, today being an exception.  Little Miss refused to nap so I wore her in the carrier for the majority of the day so today’s run is being pushed to tomorrow.  Maybe I’ll sneak it in before she even wakes up…  That’s ambitious.

Tidbit 9:  Ryan and I are hosting a St. Patty’s Day Potluck where everyone is asked to bring a dish and their favorite 6-pack of beer to share.  What’s your favorite Irish-inspired dish?

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Tidbit 10:  Do you like Life’s a Bowl on Facebook?  If you don’t already, make sure you head over now and “Like” it.  Yesterday I shared some exciting news {notice the new badge on the sidebar?} and there might be a giveaway exclusively on Facebook in the near future.  Wink, wink.

— Allison

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Meniscus, You’re a Bum

This morning I received some frustrating news in regards to the knee pain that I’ve been experiencing.  I initially hurt my {left} knee last spring while running the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon…  I hit a pothole and rolled my ankle, which then caused my knee to twist.  I’m proud of myself for finishing the race, but the last few miles were both a mental and physical struggle.  At least I got a pretty shiny medal {and a huge bruised grapefruit on my knee} to show off.

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I met with my orthopedic the following Monday but we decided to hold off on doing a MRI because I found out that same weekend that I was pregnant.  He gave me a list of rehab exercises to do and I visited my chiropractor regularly.  I continued to stay active throughout my pregnancy, but primarily stuck to the elliptical, stationary bike, and walking.  I ran a few times but only a mile or two.

I know that chiropractors are a touchy subject, but to each their own so please respect my decision.  I have a lot of respect for my chiropractor and appreciate how realistic and honest he is with his patients.  He tries his best to help, but has no trouble admitting once he’s exhausted all of his resources and it’s time to move onto another approach.

My freshman year in high school I had an intense shoulder pain which negatively affected my ability to play basketball and lacrosse.  I met with my orthopedic who suggested that I make an appointment with a physical therapist and a chiropractor.  He hoped that at least one of them would have a solution to alleviate my pain before he even began to discuss surgery with me.

The physical therapist worked on strengthening exercises, but regardless of my strength my shoulder was still popping and grinding.  The chiropractor tried various stretches, but he too wasn’t able to provide me with a “fix.”  They both tried their best, but ultimately I had surgery to remove a bone spur and my bursa lining.

I appreciated that my chiropractor, physical therapist, and orthopedic all worked together towards one goal and kept me {the patient} in mind.  And that’s what they’re doing this time, too.

My chiropractor thinks that I most likely partially or fully tore my meniscus.  It hurts after I run, during speed work and lunges/squats, and whenever I try to sit cross-legged.  I’m doing strengthening exercises, icing, using the foam roller, and meeting with my chiropractor now on a weekly basis.  I’ve tried a few different braces, but none had done the trick.  Essentially I’m trying to do everything within my power before I go back to the orthopedic.

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But wait, how can I still be walking if I partially/fully tore my meniscus?  I asked the same thing, plus many more questions this morning…

If you tear your meniscus, can you still walk?  Yes.  You might feel pain when you bend or squat, but it all depends on the severity of the tear.

What is your meniscus?  It is a rubbery C-shaped disc of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your thighbone and shinbone.

How common are meniscus tears?  They’re the most common knee injury.

My knee occasionally pops, could that be related to the tear?  Yes.  The most common symptoms include pain {check!}, swelling and stiffness {check!}, clicking or locking {check!}, and weakness {check!}.

What’s the treatment?  It all depends on the severity of the tear.  Your doctor most likely will recommend one of the following: the RICE {rest, ice, compression, elevation} protocol, surgery, and/or physical therapy.

So what does that mean for me right now?  At this time I’ve been given the green light to continue exercising but with caution – to stop whenever it starts to hurt and to ice daily.  My chiropractor and I are going to give it another week or two, but if there isn’t any improvement I’ll schedule the MRI.

Note:  I’m not a doctor and the information above should not be interpreted as medical advice.  The symptoms of a torn meniscus may be similar to other medical conditions and/or problems.  Always consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

— Allison

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Favorite Finds 1.18.15

rGood morning and happy Sunday, y’all!  It’s a deary day here, but we’re planning to make the most of it and have a lot on the agenda.  One of which is running five miles.  I have my sights on a 10 mile race in early March so I’m slowly trying to increase my mileage.  So far, so good.  Although, my knee gets a little wonky when I do speed work.

This is my first Favorite Finds post of 2015 – woo hoo!  I’m in the midst of reorganizing my Pinterest boards so they’ll be a little more straightforward.  I apologize in advance if some boards are empty or pins aren’t in the correct category.  I hope to finish soon.

Favorite Pinterest Finds

Home CrossFit WOD: 600 Reps by Blonde Ponytail:  I’ve never done a CrossFit workout, but this one looks easy enough…  The exercises that is, not the 600 reps {ha!}.  It would be great if I could get my workout done while Evie naps and not have to wait until Ryan gets home from work.  I don’t have kettlebells at home, but dumbbells should work fine.

Oreo Peanut Butter Popcorn by Crazy for Crust:  When I started breastfeeding I got a hankering for cookies, particularly {chewy} M&M sugar cookies and Oreos.  At the time, Pumpkin Spice Oreos flooded the supermarket shelves, but when we went back for more they were out of season so we moved onto Cake Batter.  Don’t buy them, they’re addicting and you won’t wanna share with anyone.  This popcorn incorporates three of my favorite foods so I have no doubt I’d love it.

Oreo Peanut Butter Popcorn

Organic and Original Clothes and Shoes for Baby by Growing Up Wild:  Cute onesies and booties are stapes in Evie’s wardrobe – the easier to take off for a diaper change, the better.  These {organic} onesies and coordinating booties are both adorable and environmentally friendly.  Plus, I’m a sucker for bows and headbands.

Elephant Onesie

Quote:  With all of the changes that are going on in our lives, it’s easy to get caught-up in things that are out of our control.  This quote is a great reminder that we can’t control everything.

Spaghizza by Money Saving Mom:  I’ve seen a few pictures of spaghetti pie on Instagram lately, so I had to do some research.  It’s essentially a baked pasta dish {think lasagna, minus the ricotta} with all of the classic pizza ingredients.  What’s not to like?

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Frozen Olaf Valentines {Free Printable} by One Creative Mommy:  It’s no secret that kids {and some adults} these days are completely obsessed with the movie Frozen.  These Valentine’s Day cards are sure to be a hit.

Frozen Olaf Valentine

Top 27 Places In The US That Foreigners Are Craziest About Visiting by Rosey News:  Before looking at this, I thought I was pretty well-traveled.  I’ve been to all of the states on the east coast, down south, a few out on the west coast, and a couple in the middle of the country…  But after looking at this list, I’ve realized that I have a lot more traveling to do.  There are so many beautiful places that I have yet to see!

Top 27 Places Foreigners Go Crazy For

White Kitchen by little house BIG PLANS:  My mom designed the kitchen in my childhood home and it was simply gorgeous.  Floor to ceiling white cabinets, white/wood paneled appliances, white granite counters, white and blue wall paper and accents.  The kitchen in our current house has white cabinets, but black granite and dark gray floors, so it’s not very bright.  Oh, what I would give to have a custom-built kitchen.

White Kitchen

— Allison

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