Upper Creek Trails

One of the best parts of living in the mountains? All the amazing (and FREE) hiking trails at your disposal. I try to get a hike in every weekend the weather’s nice. Beautiful sights with a built-in workout? I’ll take it.

Yesterday morning a friend and I ventured out to Burke County for a hike. We went hiking on Upper Creek Trails in Pisgah National Forest.

We followed a 1.5 mile loop past a gorgeous waterfall. You could start towards the upper falls or lower falls, each trail looped back around to the waterfall. Well, it was supposed to be a loop, we got lost at the bottom of the waterfall. Getting lost in the woods is a great way to start the morning. I exaggerate, we didn’t get that lost, the trail just mysteriously seemed to end and we couldn’t find anywhere that it picked back up again or any trail markers. Maybe we just have a bad sense of direction, but we turned around and went back the way we came. Which was uphill the whole way. My legs were on fire!

The highlight of the trail was this waterfall

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Which turned out to be much bigger than we realized as we hiked further down the trail

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So pretty. And you know it’s a good hike when you have to barefoot it at some points.

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Excuse the feet.

You had to cross the waterfall at the top to continue down the trail. The water was coldddd. But luckily no wipe outs.

Here’s so more pictures, because words don’t really cut it when it comes to nature.

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Rock-hopping across the waterfall.

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A leaf fell on this plant and the plant grew through a hole in the leaf. Plants are cool like that.

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Nature can be pretty fun sometimes.

You should always go hiking with a biology major, you learn a lot. Especially when they’re into herpetology (that word makes me giggle, I’m real mature), I’ve learned more about North Carolina salamanders than I ever thought possible.

Post-hike I had a pretty low key evening. I hit up Earth Fare for some groceries. I know, grocery shopping on a Friday night, what a party animal. I got a couple of fun things, including a pluot:

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I just discovered these last year, and they’re so delicious. But they never seem to be in season for very long, or at least where I am, they disappear after a couple of weeks. Sad. I would try to stock up but I’d probably eat them all in one day. It’s been known to happen.

Well I’m off to get started on my Saturday!

What are your plans for the weekend?

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Things I’m Loving

Honestly my life has been pretty eventful and not very blog-worthy. I’m up to my eyeballs in work, like every other student right now I’m sure. And the most exciting part of my day is getting to eat dinner. Sad. I do have some fun things planned for the weekend though!

I figured a list of fun things I love right now would be much more exciting than the lackluster events of my Thursday.

  1. YogaI’m on such a yoga kick lately and it’s doin my body good. I took a Power Yoga class tonight it was fantastic. I was feeling sick this morning (dizzy, nauseous and not fun) I even skipped out on my first class. Falling down or puking is generally not an encouraged class activity. I felt a little better as the day went on, then I went to yoga and felt 9842754829485x better. No exaggeration. I felt so strong and like a bad-ass yogi. Not so much, but nice to pretend. So, I’m going to listen to my body and do yoga all the live long day.

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    We did side crow, one of my new favorite poses (source)

  2. Detangler: I have really fine hair, but a ton of it and get tangles like crazy. My hair is borderline dreadlocks after a post-run shower. So I bought this stuff:

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    Twirlin' Swirlberry is a very grown up scent thank-you-very-much (source)

  3.  This body wash. It’s made with beer, which is kind of weird so of course I love it. It still smells a little like beer, which I think makes it more fun. I got a free sample of it the other weekend when I was at Earthfare. I’m such a sucker for free samples. They’re free. And the company is out Asheville, NC, which makes them local. Double bonus.
  4. THE WEATHER. It was gorgeous today. We’ve had a lot of thunderstorms lately, which is weird for Boone, but when it clears up it’s beautiful. And all the flowers are blooming, it’s so refreshing to see again.
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  5. Salads I’ve had salads for lunch and dinner almost everyday. Excessive? Maybe, but I love vegetables. No one can say I’m not getting enough fiber, that’s for sure.
  6. Hiking I’m going tomorrow and I’m very excited, hopefully the weather will cooperate!

What are you loving lately?

Lately

Lately, I’ve come to the conclusion that an awesome workout is the single best way to start a day. I woke up this morning feeling like poo, then I dragged my sorry butt to the gym, did some HIIT intervals on the treadmill and did some shoulder exercises complements of Courtney’s “7 Moves for Shredded Shoulders“. It hurt so good.

Ah exercise endorphins are my favorite.

Lately, I’ve been trying to focus on doing more speedwork. I still need to work on my endurance but I’ve got the 5k distance pretty down pat and I now I want to work on getting faster.

Lately I’ve been really into yoga. I wanted to go to a yoga class but it started at 6:45 and I didn’t get out of class until 6:20 and I was starving. Boo. But I am hitting up a power yoga class tomorrow that I’m really excited for!

Lately, I’ve been cover letter writing like it’s my job (have about 5 left I need to write, it hurts my brain to think about it). Still on the hunt for an internship, it’s not going so well. Anyone need a design intern? I’m real nice and I’ll make you cookies.

Lately, I haven’t been craving sweets, it’s awesome.

Lately, I’ve been drinking less coffee, it’s not awesome. Doesn’t go with well my lack of sleep.

Lately, life has not been very exciting, but I’m okay with that. But it doesn’t make for a very exciting blog post. I’ll try harder for tomorrow.

What have you been doing lately?

A Day.

It has been A day today. You know one of those days that you don’t really have words to describe. A day.

I busted a hole in the pair of flats I was wearing today. My luck, it was 10 minutes after I left my dorm. I would have taken a picture but they’re all ready in the trash. I spent $5 on some duct tape (ridiculous) to try to patch them up so they would at least get me through the rest of the day. I didn’t want my big toe hanging out all day. Good way to start A day.

I have been such a space-case all day today. Earth to Lea.

My day has not been all bad though.

I applied for 8 scholarships today. Monnaaayyyy. Hopefully. Let’s make a dent in those student loans.

Went to a fantastic Pilates class. I’m always tempted to skip out on that class because it’s in the middle of a long day of class but I always feel 20934820948x better afterward. It’s also awesome because I get to start assisting with Pilates classes on Sunday, and I’m trying to soak up some Pilates inspiration before then.

I had a tasty lunch

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Sweet potatoes, Kale, some shy black beans and tempeh, topped with Sriracha

Microwave cuisine at its finest.

I ate cottage cheese and grapes for dinner. I’m addicted. Thanks Janae!

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The dining hall had the BIGGEST grapes today. Check the spoon for comparison. I get excited over things like abnormally sized fruit. It’s the little things.

I got to attend a design lecture from a graphic designer that has his posters hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Impressive. I geeked out hardcore. You can check out there stuff here it’s so creative. His design process is really inspiring and got some serious creative juices flowing. And he was graphic designing before Photoshop was around, we have it so easy nowadays.

Completely unrelated but, when did Zac Efron get so old? A trailer for The Lucky One just popped up on TV and holy cow. He’s in war and sex scenes, whattttt. Someone should remind him that he’s still 14, I think he forgot.

That’s better.

Good night guys!

True Life: I’m Super Awkward.

Everyday of my life is awkward. It’s okay, I’m embracing it. In an effort to let my freak flag fly, here are my top 5 awkward moments of the past week.

I have no shame.

  1. I was eating a Chobani while walking to class, it was really windy. Said Chobani ended up in my hair. I tried to play it off. FYI, you can’t play off having greek yogurt in your hair. At least it was peach-flavored.

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    Fashion's trendiest new hair accessory. (source)

  2. I tripped while on a run this week. Let me preface that by saying I run on a completely flat indoor track. There is nothing to trip over, except my own feet.

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    Major tripping hazards

  3. The middle toe on my left foot has been twitching uncontrollably for the past couple weeks. I get the feeling that’s not normal. It’s only that specific toe, awkward.
  4. Every time I eat a salad I end up with half of it in my lap and on my face. I’ve eat 11 salads in the past week. That in it’s self is awkward.

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    Don't ask how much of that ended up in my lap, you don't even want to know.

  5. I started a kale avalanche in the produce aisle at Earthfare. I’m only buying spinach from now on.

Life’s too short not to laugh at yourself.

 

What was your last awkward moment? Don’t pretend like you don’t have them.

Friend Makin’ Monday!

I found this over at All The Weigh, it looked like fun and I wanted to join in!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Current Favorites

  1. Song – Poison and Wine by the Civil Wars, I’m obsessed.
  2. Drink – Tea, I’ve been on a major tea kick lately. And coffee as always, I am a college student
  3. Physical feature of the opposite sex (or the sex that you find attractive) – eyes, and hair, maybe that’s weird?
  4. TV Show(s) – Two Broke Girls, it’s hilarious! I love Max’s humor. And Paula’s Best Dishes, can she adopt me as her granddaughter?
  5. Actor/Actress – Um… I don’t really have a favorite at the moment
  6. Book – I’m reading the Little Black Book of Design, it’s helping to get those creative juices flowing.
  7. Form of communication – E-mail, I’ve been sending out e-mails like crazy to try to find an internship, I sound much more professional in writing that in person!
  8. Exercise – YOGA. It feels sooooo good lately. And HIIT, a good sweat sesh is always amazing!
  9. Food – Cottage cheese, random but it’s tasty, versatile and an awesome source of protein.
  10. Quote – Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, “you owe me” look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky – Hafiz of Shiraz

Not-so-Sunday

It has been rainy and cold and dreary and gross all day today. But let’s start with Saturday.

Saturday afternoon I hit up Earthfare for some over priced healthy groceries. I came armed with coupons and left only $15 poorer, success. But I’ve already eaten my way through about half my groceries. I’m terrible about this, I’m so excited to finally get groceries that I eat half of them in one day. But in my defense eating half of a $15 grocery haul is not that bad.

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I bought a new bar to try because they were on sale and I had a coupon. Boom. It was pretty delicious. Though I don’t think I’ve ever tried a bar a didn’t like, I’m slightly addicted to all snack bars in general. It had some funky ingredients but sometimes chemicals can be tasty. It was also peanut butter flavored, a winner.

Saturday night I had a dinner date with my roomie. We were looking for a cheap non-campus place to eat and I had a coupon to the Red Onion Cafe. Yes, I’m a coupon hoarder, buy one get one free is like music to my cheap little ears.

I ordered the Grilled Chinese Chicken Salad – “delicious marinated chicken served over romaine and shredded cabbage with carrots, scallions and crisp chow mein noodles, then tossed with our homemade asian dressing.” but subbed tempeh for chicken. The tempeh was delicious, I don’t know how they cooked it but it was fermented soybean heaven. I didn’t take a picture of my salad because I was hungry. Story of my life.

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I did get a picture of candle on the table. It counts as mood lighting right?

I got a nice non-dining hall dinner for under $7, love it.

Saturday night some friends came over and we watched 17 Again. It was weird, and probably the most awkward movie I’ve seen in a while. But still a little funny.

Sunday has been spent catching up on homework (ugh). The nasty weather is making for a pretty productive mood. I’ve been karate chopping things off my to-do list which feels always good.

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Side Note: I like where bright yellow shoes when it’s raining outside, it’s like I’m wearing sunshine on my feet. My friend told me it looked like I was wearing bananas on my feet. Which is cool, I love bananas.

I also had yoga teacher training tonight, which I loved. We worked on Pigeon some, my favorite yoga pose ever. I’ve got a renewed obsession for yoga at the moment and I am soaking up everything I can about it. I need to make time for some serious yoga-ing this week, my muscles need some lovin’.

Well I’m off to do some more homework and then bed.

Have a good night guys!

How did you spend your Sunday?

Hiking Photos 3/23

Trails near the Greenwood parking lot:

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Moses H. Cone House and path to Bass Lake:

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Pseudo-Professional

The past two days have been nonstop. Thursday morning I was up a 6:30 (what is wrong with me?) to hit up the gym to lift some weights. I love lifting weights, but I always feel kind of lost in terms of what exercises to do, I need to start jotting down some ideas before I go. Also I’m not a fan of the meat heads in college gyms, I feel all the grunting and protein shake chugging is unnecessary. But maybe I’m just jealous I’m not curling 65 pound weights, yeah a little.

I also had a marketing exam and other gross schoolwork that kept me inside on a beautiful 75-degree sunny day. Super lame.

Some graphics and printing companies were coming to campus on Friday for so we could interview with them for potential internship/job opportunities. Thursday night, a couple of the companies came up early and there was an event with dinner/hors d’oeuvres and networking opportunities. I went to make a good impression, but it was awkward, a networker I am definitely not. But I did meet some nice people and talk to a couple of the interviewers.

Friday morning I was up early (at 6 am, ouch) to get ready for my interviews and hit up the continental breakfast they were providing. Unfortunately the breakfast was not worth getting up for, it was bagels, doughnuts, and danishes (can I get some fruit, some yogurt, anything remotely healthy). I ended up with half of a bagel and and cream cheese and chugged coffee like it was my job. Not a satisfying breakfast after only 6 hours of sleep.

I had 3 interviews starting at 9 (I was supposed to have 4 but one company couldn’t make it because of a family emergency). My interviews went pretty well except two of the companies were only looking to hire people graduating in the spring, but my third interview went really well, and the woman I talked to was super nice. I can tell my interview skills are definitely starting to get better. I’m still bad at them, and the most awkward conversationalist ever, but at least I get marginally less awkward with every interview I do.

After my last interview I went from this:

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to this

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in under 15 minutes to go hiking with a friend. It felt good to get out of professional clothes. They make me feel like a little kid playing dress up. And they give me a height complex, I’m 5’4″ and still have to shop in the petite section and get them hemmed. I guess I could wear heels, but I’m clumsy enough without the additional falling hazard. And Asics are 300x more comfy than my flats.

We hiked a trail near campus (2-3 miles maybe? it wasn’t marked) and we were going to walk around Bass Lake, off the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it decided to pour down rain when we got 1.7 miles down the 2.3 mile trail to the lake, so we turned around and went back. Of course it stops raining as soon as we get to the car.

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And we found a box full of letters on one of the paths. It was apparently like a geocaching type thing but with letters people had written, too bad they were all rained on and mushy. I took more hiking pictures, I haven’t put them on my computer yet though, maybe later today?

I got back from hiking, back in to normal clothes and went out for Mexican food with some friends for dinner. It was not my favorite, I’m not a fan of Mexican (or I should say I’m not a fan of Mexican food in North Carolina, because I know it is nowhere near authentic) but I enjoyed the company. We went back to my friend’s apartment and watched The Holiday the plot was pretty terrible but Jude Law was in it. He automatically makes every movie better.

See? (source)

Then I PTFO-ed at about 12:30. I was tired.

Now I’m just being a lazy butt and sitting around in bed. Which is perfectly acceptable because it’s Saturday morning. I also got 8 hours of sleep last night for the first time in like 3 weeks (that’s terrible, I know) and it felt glorious. I’m ready to conquer the weekend.

Treadmills, Mail and the Fogpocalypse

I walked into a full on fogpocalypse this morning. It was intense, you can usually see all the way into downtown Boone from outside my dorm in the morning. Not so much today. I swear mountain fog is a beast. And then Mother Nature made everything better and the sun came out and it was a beautiful spring day. I can deal with that.

In the middle of the fogpocalypse, I walked myself to the gym (the only building I could see from my dorm) and had a nice sweaty run on the treadmill.

I’m trying to get some more speed work into my workouts. My next running goal is a 5k in under 30 minutes, which I’m not too far from, but I think taking time to work on my speed rather than just mileage will make a big difference. And I liked this work out because it eased me into the faster speeds (I’m a slowpoke) while still leaving me a sweaty mess. I did some planks and push ups after my run. Side note – I’m loving pushups lately, I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I’ll take it! TMI but, I was so sweaty after running that my arms kept sliding around when I was doing planks. That’s gross, but I love a good sweat, I’m not ashamed.

Then it was maaaiiiillllll timmmeeee!! Yes, I know the whole song, don’t you dare judge.

My RoadID came today! I won a $15 gift card to RoadID at a 5k I ran back in November, and I finally decided to order one. I don’t run outdoors all that often while I’m at school, but I’m still glad to have one so someone can come rescue me if I keel over. Not to mention RoadID is an AWESOME company. One of the best I’ve ever ordered anything from. They donate 10% of every purchase to a charity that you choose and they sent me tons of coupons with my order. I’ve never seen such great customer service from a company before. Go buy their stuff! You can get one in purple which is the very best color in the world. Fact.

It’s purple, and pretty! And don’t be too jealous of my roommate’s fuzzy slippers in the back ground. It’s impossible to take a picture of my arm in my dorm room without getting something weird in the background, I should clean up sometime. Actually that’s totally not going to happen, oops.

And I needed to be in bed like an hour ago, goodnight!