Thursday, July 8, 2010

Property Virgins

We have entered a new mode!

House hunting has begun.

We found a realtor that we're quite pleased with, and she's been shooting us emails all week with houses to look at. We looked at 5 homes on Monday afternoon.

Ryan & I have been spending the past....year and a half spending mannny evenings searches the listings online and watching HGTV shows such as Property Virgins and House Hunters. All to decide what kind of "Style" of home we're looking for.

It's tough not to get too excited, since we probably won't be making a move until I have a job (October - December).

And HOLY-Bank-Owned!! -- There are more foreclosed homes on the market than not. It's really bizarre and eerie to me walking through some of these homes. It's like people find out they're losing their home, paint every wall a different color, rip up carpet, and take as much possible!!

We've decided some of the big priorties with our home are the following:
  • Great kitchen. Island. Preferrable wood floors - but we also like tile.
  • As little carpet possible. Allergies are crazy - and I just love tile & wood!
  • Character is an absolute must! Nothing too "cookie cutter"
  • Backyard had to have a "Wow Factor". We live in hot AZ - and a pool is almost mandatory. If no pool - it needs to at least have space for a potential one OR just a nice set up for barbeques!
What were big things when you picked your 1st home? If you haven't bought a home, what do you look for? Any words of wisdom? So far, I just know to be picky! This is one of the biggest decisions we'll ever make - and we don't want to make the wrong choice!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wellness Wednesday: Cardio

The last weeks of nursing school have been quite frazzling lately. And the best way to "burn out" any frustration, stress, and nerves - for me - is a good, hard cardio session!

So here I am going to leave you with my favorite cardio work-out to get my heart pumping! I know we are all at different fitness levels, or maybe we aren't all runners. But this workout can be applied to walking, running, biking, etc.

It's a cardio workout that involves INTERVALS. Make you sure pick a good baseline. IF you don't have a tredmill/exercise machine - then judge your intervals by the "breath test". How hard are you breathing and exerting yourself?

So here it is! (I'm doing this running style at my pace, since that's how I "roll")

1-3 min...........Warm up (7.5 mph) - The pace ou pick here should be your "baseline"
4-8 min...........Interval 1. Each minute increase your pace a little more. (ex: 8 mph, 8.2, 8.5, 9 mph)
9-10 min.........Cool back down. Go back to baseline (7.5)
10-14 min.......Interval 2. Each minute either incline the tredmill or speed up an interval.
14-16 min.......Cool down to baseline.
16-20 min.......Interval 3. Each minute increase the pace.
20-22 min.......Cool down to baseline.
22-26 min.......Interval 4. Incline again! (Or just speed up if you're on the ground)
26-28 min........Cool down to baseline
28-32 min........Interval 5. Speed up the pace again
32-34 min........Cool Down to baseline
34-38 min.........Incline or Speed up - you get to choose this time (how exciting!)
38-40 min.........Cool down
Workout Complete!!!

This is a workout that is set up to increase your VO2 Max - which is your maximum oxygen consumption. I have been doing variations of this work out for years whenever I'm trying to get into shape - and I've cut MINUTES off my running time!

I started out just doing this for 20 minutes and worked up to 40!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. If given the oppotunity, would you choose a mediocre job that paid well or your dream job that paid poorly?
I go so back and forth on this one. Mediocre job that pays well, will at least give me the money to buy happiness ;). And I know some of you are just cringing reading that statement.

But when I think about it - if my mediocre high-paying jobs makes me dread work - then I wouldn't be happy with life. So, I would rather take the Dream Job - for my "dream job doesn't make me work holidays and weekends (why did I choose nursing again??.....)

2. What is your favorite thing about the 4th of July? (For the foreigners: What is your impression of the 4th of July?)
Well, my favorite thing about the 4th has always been getting together with family - spending time outdoors all day - good fun and food. But, unfortunately we weren't able to get together with family this year. But we still had a great day filled with sunshine, good food, and fun regardless!

3. What’s the most random fact you know about American history?
I am terrible about history. But, I will say - (I don't know how "american history-ish" this is) - In 1929 Dr. Werner Forssman did the first cardiac catheterization ever. He inserted a cannula into his radial vein on his wrist, and advanced it all the way to his heart - walked into the X-Ray room in the hospital, and told the technician to x-ray his chest!

Kind of "ball-sy", huh! That's probably the only "interesting" thing I will talk about in my Capstone.....

4. What is the best fireworks display you’ve ever seen?
This year's Tucson display was pretty awesome. Plus, it's been so hot and dry lately - that there were tons of fires we could see popping up. We were sitting across from the fire station during the display - and there was a steady flow of calls! (sad!)

5. Who taught you how to put on makeup?
I don't really remember being sat down and taught how to do make up. I am horrible at make up. I could still use a lesson.

6. Have you ever gone through a financial planning process? Tell us about it.
I think we're kind of in the middle of a financial planning process right now. Our plans are to buy a house in the next few months, so we are on, what I like to call, "Budget Smack Down".

We are saving all our receipts, and then at the end of the week we categorize them, add them up, and decide what areas of spending need to be cut.

There is a lot more involved in our planning going on - but, that's kind of Ryan's "thing". I don't do well with finances. Yes, I know - I'm being very ignorant - you can say it :)

7. What was your favorite outfit as a kid? Bonus points for pictures.
I remember this boldly. I wore it my 1st day of Kindergarten. Blue cotton pants - with white polka dots. And a White shirt with a blue flower on it. I remember I had a blue headband that matched the outfit.

Wish I still could wear that....

8. Do you prefer a beach, lake, swimming pool, or no water?
I have to say the beach. There is something so relaxing, incredible, magical about walking the shore, hearing the seagulls, feeling the fresh breeze off the ocean. Mmmmm...

9. Do you recycle? If not, why?
Yes. I hate when neighborhoods, apartment complexes, hotels, etc don't give the option to recycle. It can't be that difficult to instill a recycling program.....

10. What are your thoughts and feelings about the Twilight Saga?
I am so sorry to any "Twightlight Lovers". But, no.
Twighlight has been placed in "Abby's Box of Never's". It has joined things such as: leggings, tattoos, Sonoran Hot Dogs, Gray's Anatomy, Uggs worn in June.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Thank God we have some high-quality sleeping bags that can handle up to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it got down to the 40's both nights- and our thin AZ blood doesn't tolerate the cold like it did back in North Dakota!

It was a very surreal feeling waking in the middle of the night to the sound of coyotes......

We were up early to a beautiful morning. We walked down to the lake to do a little exploring.

Ryan set up fishing lines....while I looked at wild flowers.

This site of Ryan fishing, the nature, and boats is so peaceful to me!

After a short morning on the lake, we headed back to camp to make breakfast.

After breakfast, we took a drive around the area to do some exploring - and we saw a family of Elk. Elk were all over the place in this area! Just gorgeous.

We decided to rent a boat for the day. So we packed up some food and drinks - and I brought books and magazines - and we enjoyed an afternoon on the lake....

Well...Kind of enjoyed..............;)
We first thought it'd be fun and "primitive" to rent a row boat. What a romantic image I had in my head of us rowing about the lake, fishing, and enjoying a gorgeous day in the sun.

Until we got out into the middle of the lake - and realized the oars were faulty, and screwed on backwards.

Then the wind picked up.

Then we got stuck on a pile of rocks .

The more stuck we got, the more the wind blew. The more the wind blew, the more stuck we got.

This was quite an intense moment.

It's too bad I don't have pictures of this. However, I don't think Ryan would have been happy to have his photo taken during this moment.....

Needless to say, we managed back to the boat-house - and demanded a motor boat!!!

As you can see, we were much happier.

Until......some "anchor issues"

They didn't have normal anchors. They had old, metal coffee cans filled with cement - But they were awkwardly heavy and really difficult to work with.

After we had been finishing in an area - and it was time to pull in the anchors and move.....

The anchor seemed to be stuck. So Ryan pulled and pulled and pulled....

And nothing came up.

So he really used his muscles and pulled.

And then he put ALL his body weight into it.

And whatever was "caught" on the anchor snapped.

And across the boat he flew.

I really don't know how he managed to not capsize.

Our romantic day out on the boat was one of those moments where "expectations don't meet reality"

We didn't can't anything, either.

We managed to have a good time. And it is a memory we will never forget.

After our day of fishing, we went for a gorgeous 5 mile hike.

We followed signs to "Big Lake Lookout" - thinking it'd just be a nice little look out over the lake.

It turned out being on top of everything. The hike was somewhat challenging - but definitely worth it!!
I felt like we were on top of the world.
Then we climbled up 3 flights of stairs to a hut. The hut is used by the Arizona Park Rangers to spot lightning and forest fires - to call them in.

This was one of those moments in life where my breath was taken away!
Pictures just don't do justice.

I really don't do well with heights. I was honestly shaking the whole time we were in this hut. In fact, at first I had to tell myself to breathe! This pictures just shows a little glimpse of how fricking terrified I was!

Our day of fishing and long hike definitely worked us up an appetite. So we decided to make our last meal a traditional "camping cuisine". So we did hot dogs on the fire - and I made baked beans with onions and fresh jalepenos - and sauerkraut (on my top 5 list of favorite foods!!) :)

We finished the evening with a great fire.

It am not going to even talk about Sunday. It was a gorgeous morning - and we were packed up and out of there by 9. *sigh*

Definitely a wonderful camping trip - and we hope to return to this campground again!!