About Me

Me In A Nutshell

Hello all my fellow bloggers and blog readers! My name is Brittany and I am Strides & Sweets! A running addicted, yoga lovin’ Betty Crocker

My first time in New York City this past April!

A little bit about myself: I am a 23 years old and originally from Norfolk, VA where I graduated from Old Dominion University in December 2011 with a major in Recreational Therapy & a minor in Psychology. I just recently moved to Richmond, VA to get a fresh start on life where I now live with my amazing boyfriend, Casey and my crazy cat Murphy. I have a huge passion for running and a newly found love for cooking. If you’re interested in either of these, this is the place to visit daily!  I will share both running advice and workouts as well as some great recipes of my own and some that are inspired by other bloggers I follow.

Casey & I

Me & Murphy (I swear he loves me!)

My Journey

For the past year I have worked in a Nursing Home/Assisted Living/Memory Care facility. I first discovered this field in August of 2011 when I began my internship that was required in order for me to obtain my degree, at a facility in Virginia Beach, VA . After completing my long and grueling 500 internship hours and receiving my Bachelor’s of Science Degree, (yes, I am still milking it a year later), the company decided to hire me as a full time Activity Assistant of the dementia unit! This involved my facilitating all of the activities that were planned throughout the day for the residents. Activities included Bingo (of course!), arts & crafts, cooking and baking, trivia, table games and MANY more. After working there for about 5 months, I decided I really wanted to pursue what I had been thinking about for a while, which was to move to Richmond, VA! Let me inform you that prior to my move, I had been living in Norfolk, VA ALL OF MY LIFE. I even stayed there for college so I have never really moved away from “home” and experienced everything that comes along with it. After months of figuring out where I was going to live and what I was going to do for a job, I was beyond grateful and felt so blessed when I learned that I had been chosen to be the new dementia unit Activity COORDINATOR (hello more money!)  at the same facility I was currently employed at in Virginia Beach, for the Richmond location. How awesome right? Just simply transferring to a new location! This was a huge burden lifted and even got lucky with a cheap place to live for a few months until I could get on my feet.

Some of you may be wondering “Why Richmond?” Well, after visiting one of my best friends Chelsea, on our many holiday breaks from our studies, I completely fell in love with the city and something just went off inside my head and said “This is where you need to be, Brittany.” So, I made a promise to myself that when the perfect opportunity arose I would do it, and I did. My perfect opportunity wasn’t the job I landed however. It was the man I met through Chelsea. This perfect man I am talking about is Casey, the most handsome, fun, loving and caring person I have ever come across and is seriously the man of my dreams. Funny story, Chelsea had been trying to set us up for about a year, claiming we would “be perfect together.” And she was right. We instantly hit it off at good ol’ Lucky Buddha in downtown Richmond. Meeting him gave me that extra ‘oomph’ and push I needed to make the move I had been planning for so long. Not only would this move allow me to have a fresh start on my life, build my career, explore a new city, meet new people, it would allow me to do it with a person who I know is my soul mate and one of my biggest supporters. Okay, enough with the mushy stuff.

I began at my now ex- job (yep, I no longer work there!) and started out loving it (sounds like just about any job right?). Three months down the road, I absolutely hated it. I have never become so physically, mentally, and emotionally sick from a job. EVER. Until this one. Working there was so strenuous, it was ridiculous. I began to get so upset, because after a while, all my days consisted of was: wake up, get ready, go to work from 8:30-5:00, go to the gym (de-stress!), come home, shower, cook dinner, and lay in bed with Casey. Not too exciting. Everything started to become so unappealing. I never wanted to do anything fun because I was so exhausted from work. Even on the weekends, I found myself always turning down invitations of going out because I felt like the weekends were my ONLY time to relax and have time to myself.

I am proud to say that I followed my heart and all the messages from God that I have received and put in my 2 weeks. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any luck finding a job to replace my last one, but I know I will find the right path. Honestly, being unemployed has given me the opportunity and more time to pursue my current dream of becoming a freelance writer. After being inspired by Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers I believe I have found my niche. Wish me luck!

Running & Fitness

I guess my time to myself is defined as running. I run almost everyday. Not just because I was training for my first half-marathon or because it’s “good for you.” I run because I truly enjoy it. When I run I feel like nothing can touch me, I have no worries (well, except for how red my face will be when I am done), it’s just me and the asphalt. Running gives me such a serene feeling. I begin to notice the little things; how blue the sky is, the crisp, fresh air, the huge, lush trees, and just how lucky I am to still be able to use my two legs.

I am a huge fan of interval treadmill runs so be prepared so see a lot of those bad boys! I absolutely love to sweat because it makes me feel like I have actually gotten a great workout in and HIIT is the the way to go if you’re looking for the same thing!

I have participated in several races over the past three years including: Shamrock 8k, Color Me Rad, Rock & Roll Half Marathon, Wicked 10K and ALWAYS the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. After my mother, my absolute best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer (and later brain cancer) and becoming a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha, I became actively involved with Susan G. Komen. It not only gave me chance to raise money for this amazing organization but also a chance to educate others about this particular type of cancer.

Four of the most important people in my life at my college graduation: my little sister, my dad, my mom: the strongest, most courageous woman I know, and my grandmother.

Me after finishing the Rock & Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach..my very first and most certainly not my last!

Us after the Color Me Rad 5K! So much fun!

As for strength training I rely solely on the BodyPump classes at Gold’s Gym or Casey. Casey is the weight lifter, I’m the runner, so most of the strength routines I post will be credited to Casey.

In The Kitchen & Eating Healthy

I have always been a conscious healthy eater (with a few cupcakes and cookies here and there)..I’m a girl, what do ya expect?! In the past few months however, I have really become interested in cooking and have come to enjoy it very much.
Ask Casey, I am always saying, “I feel like baking something, what are you in the mood for?”

Like I previously stated, I’m an avid pinner so most of my meals are inspired from ideas from Pinterest. Many times I end up tweeking them to make them a tad healthier 🙂 I’m absolutely obsessed with Greek yogurt so I use it whenever the opportunity arises.

Since I like to try keep track of  the amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins I intake everyday, I downloaded the Livestrong App on my iPhone a while back. It really helps me keep a balanced diet by letting me know what I need more or less of. You simply type in the number of calories and total number of grams for carbs, fats and protein for everything you eat and it gives you a nice little pie chart with percentages on how much of each has made up your diet for each day. Pretty nifty!

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