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So I was thinking that David and I could save a lot of money by becoming vegetarians (haven’t done it yet), but then I went grocery shopping this morning. PET-brand milk at Wal-Mart was $5.98 a gallon.

$5.98!

The generic was $3.40, but my gosh, what is happening to food prices, people? Whew.

Anyhow, vegetarians still drink milk, so becoming a vegan may be the best way to go to keep your wallet nicely padded. We’ll see…

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While talking with my dad this morning, he mentioned something that his dad told him back in the day in regards to career aspirations. With my job search still in full swing, this really stuck with me:

“Whatever it is that you become in life, let it be said about you that you were one of the best”

It’s been a busy week, but a great one. I assure you that I’ll post all about my parents’ visit, our carriage ride, our day-trip to Athens, my new Bible study, our Tastefully Simple party/cookout/game night, dinner at The Crab Shack, post-dinner walks on the beach and much more…

But for now, I’m taking a challenge. A 100-push-up challenge. I read about this all over the blogosphere, and I thought why not? Check out the challenge details. I took the initial test and was able to get to 20 good-form push-ups before my arms and abs held up the white flag. It’s hard to think that in six short weeks (assuming I stick 100% to this training plan) I’ll be able to do 100 reps consecutively. Shoot, if I’m able to do that, I’ll post a of video it.

Consider taking the challenge yourself. The benefits of push-ups are pretty incredible; they’re not just about your arms. They work your entire midsection, chest, shoulders, etc. I’m not a personal trainer (maybe one day…), but if you coupled good-quality push-ups with multiple sets of squats (and perhaps some assisted pull-ups), I think you’d be getting a total body workout–from a few simple exercises!

As far as push-up overachievers go, the world record for the most push-ups in one hour was set in 2005 by Doug Pruden of Canada–1,781. And the record for the most consecutive push-ups? 10,507 set in 1980 by Minoru Yoshida.

So doing 100? Totally feasible! Who’s on board?

I must say, I’m very much looking forward to challenging my younger brother to a push-up competition once I reach the 100-rep mark. He’s a rising senior at a military university and has heard his fair share of “drop and give me 30,” but I doubt it’s ever been 100.

Shameless plug for Goodwill.

I had my first Goodwill shopping experience recently. I tried on 17 shirts. I bought 5. I paid under $18 total with tax. Two were from New York & Company, one was a Danskin dry fit running top, and two were random, but oh-so-comfy.

Haven’t tried Goodwill? Well, have you ever donated clothes to them? Were they good quality? Other people do that too. It’s true!

I’ll definitely head back. You should too.

Plugplugplug

Yesterday, we went to eight separate yard sales and spent $32. Sounds like we didn’t get all that we wanted, doesn’t it? Well, in yard-sale land, $32 goes a long, long way:

1. Coffee table–$10–It’s in incredible condition, and David’s going to sand it down and stain it to match the darker wood in our apartment. Too fun!

2. Lord of the Rings trilogy DVDs–$8 for the set–judging from the back of the discs, they’re in immaculate condition. If purchased new? Between $70-$90.

3. Cranium board game–$3–we played this with the Voloch’s, Berry Ann’s, and Jay and Angie in PA and loved it! Now we have something to contribute to game nights here in GA.

4. C.S. Lewis books–$1–picked up two of his books that we’d been wanting to read: Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce.

5. Ocean’s Twelve–$2–also in great condition

6. The Italian Job–$3–like new. Let me add that David’s and my DVD “collection” before yesterday consisted of the Matrix box set, Garden State, Legend of 1900, The Green Mile, and our wedding DVD.

7. Tool bag–$3–brand new with tags. David has to take tools to work starting this week but doesn’t want to lug his big tool box. This canvas tool bag (with reinforced bottom and sides) is perfect!

8. Cookies and a brownie–$2–A local church was having a community-wide yard sale/bake sale/barbecue sale, etc. We indulged a bit to support their cause.

So, we didn’t find any artwork or rugs, but we’re thrilled with what we did find. It was so fun to hunt out deals together!

Tips for you future yard-salers out there:

*Start early–there are yard-saleling pros with big, big trucks out to take it all! I mean, there were a couple of instances where we got first picks on things because we were “there when the doors opened,” like DVDs (believe me, the ones we found were diamonds in the children’s-video-rough), and there was also a time where we wouldn’t have found something had we been there two minutes later (i.e. the tool bag was nearly snagged by someone else who actually approached us later and asked if we planned to keep it)
*…but not too early–if a sign says “no early birds” don’t get there an hour before it’s supposed to start. We arrived about 10 minutes before each sale that we could, and the folks seemed OK with that.
*Plan to visit a lot of sales–the items we bought came from two yard sales of the eight we visited. Sometimes, people really are just cleaning out their junk room and trying to sell what they found. Not too exciting. One house’s ads proclaimed “Moving sale! HUGE!” so of course, we went. They were selling a car, raggedy stuffed animals, NASCAR collectible model cars, a stained couch (for $200!) and beer posters. Wonderful.
*Have a route planned, but be flexible–We hunted on Craigslist.com and SavannahNow.com to see what sales were advertised. We picked the ones closest to us and listed them in order of when they opened. While waiting for a particular sale to start, we’d just cruise through neighborhoods and follow other signs to yard sales not advertised.
*Have fun–even if you go to a few sales and find nothing, have fun imagining how on earth you could use some of the random things you see–or like David and I did, talk about how you might handle a yard sale of your own one day based on what you like/dislike about the sales you’ve visited. Then keep on shopping, because you’re bound to find a treasure amidst all the trash.

Remember him? I’m such a fan of old-school cartoons. You know, the kind that were drawn by hand?

Anyhow, I went on a walk this morning with Sarah through her neighborhood, and we had some close encounters of the bird kind. There were two separate instances where a falcon/hawk/some kind of large bird with pretty significantly sized talons was being chased away by tiny little mockingbirds. They were likely protecting their babies.

It’s amusing, though, to see such a massive bird get bullied away by two or three little birds who incessantly peck at them. Neither time did the larger bird do anything to fend off the mockingbirds. It just flew away eventually with a trail of angry mamas behind it.

Later on our walk, we encountered a baby mockingbird…on the ground. One of his legs was pretty twisted, so he was hopping around on just one. We weren’t sure if the parents had rejected him or if he fell out and hurt is leg. His parents were freaking out in a nearby tree over a couple of blue jays that had been swooping near the baby. Trying to be good Samaritans, we picked up the bird and took him back to Sarah’s house to assess his situation.

The power went out last night (apparently a woodpecker got into the transformer…oh my), and while mine was on, Sarah’s was not. The poor guy seemed to be in shock or playing dead or something. He wouldn’t budge after we put him in a box (with cushioning, of course). We couldn’t do any research to figure out what we should feed him or anything (power out), so I headed back to my place to sort it out. Turns out, we should have just left him. He was likely fledging (learning to fly) based on the amount of feathers he had and based on the fact that his parents were still protecting him (hadn’t rejected him).

As I type, Sarah’s putting him back out into the wild. I so hope that he doesn’t come face-to-face with any of the many neighborhood cats or blue jays. Eep!

For today (and on Saturday), it’s a real word. Don’t bother looking it up.

David and I have a much larger living space here in Savannah than we did in Pittsburgh. It’s been a lot of fun to think of ways to spruce the place up, but we end of falling into the “expensive taste” category without even meaning to.

We think we’ve found a solution, though. There are a ton of yard sales in the area each Saturday, and I checked out Craig’s List to see what was on tap for this weekend. A lot, apparently. I’m planning to call a couple of the folks ahead of time to see what sorts of furniture they have available. Should be fun!

Ideally, we’d love to find some random artwork for the walls, a coffee table, another chair for the den, drapes and any other fun knick knacks (read: candles, dvd’s, kitchen gadgets).

This will be a new adventure for both of us as we’ve never woken up early on a Saturday morning with the intention of shopping in garages, but hey, we’re always up for a new challenge.

Any yard-saleing tips for us, you Saturday-AM-shopping-vets?

Check back on Saturday/Sunday to see how it went.

I had an interview today with BFG Communications. The drive wasn’t too bad, and the office reminded me a lot of EP–only it was even more creatively designed and decorated!

I met with the creative director and three awesome copy writers; together they make up the copy team. They were all incredibly intelligent and friendly. I really look forward to hearing what they think of me! I’ll be sure to update if/when something develops.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Back to the job boards for now…

David and I took part in the Fiji 5K this past weekend, but it was right here in Savannah. “Fiji” stands for “Fit Isn’t Just Image” and is the basis of a diet book (The Fiji Vacation Diet).

Anyhow, it was our first race in Savannah, and we were prepared for whatever the weather would throw our way.

There were about 200 people at the start, and when the horn sounded for us to start at 8:00am, it was 80-85 outside with nearly 90% humidity. Sauna, anyone?

We opted to run at our own paces just to see how hard we could push ourselves. I was ridiculously motivated and wanted to break 27 minutes (the time requirement each week in women’s rowing to maintain my gear).

I started out pretty fast (David later told me it was around a seven-minute mile pace. What!? Ok, too fast.

Anyhow, I got to mile one and was soaked with sweat and already had a side stitch from my water loss. Geez! I caught up with a tall guy and opted to pace right behind him. Good move. He broke the little bit of breeze we were running into and kept me steady.

David passed me just before mile two, but I kept on trucking. Since I wasn’t wearing a watch, I really had no idea how fast I was going. I knew I was exhausted, but I figured it was just the heat and humidity.

I rounded the last turn, and the finish line and clock came into view. It read “23:47,” but even in a dead sprint, I wouldn’t have made it before 24 min. I finished in 24:10–much better than my 27 min goal. That’s about a 7:47 minute average per mile. I was stoked!

We waited around for the awards because when David and I finished, there really weren’t too many people ahead of us. Kind of exciting.

David took third place in his age group (men 20-29), and I won first place in mine (women 20-29)! It was really exciting for several reasons. First, I had never run a 5K faster than 25 minutes, ever. Second, it was our first race since the marathon, and we haven’t really been training consistently. Third, it was our second ever run in the Savannah heat. We were both thrilled!

More races to come, I’m sure. Hopefully the next one will have money involved (yes, I like my medal, but a medal can’t buy gasoline!)

You know how it takes about three to five hours for sun exposure to “set in”?

Yeah…