Hello on Thursday!


So this is the way my MIL (Mother-in-Law) always addresses her emails and I LOVE it!  It is making me miss her and want to write her, which I will do shortly after completing this fun-filled post!  Hi Mom # 2, by the way!  (What am I saying, she doesn’t really read this…)

Mom and Dad #2

Anywhooo…lots going on in upsanddownes world!  As far as working out though, not much going on there. I have decided to take a bit of a hiatus.  Basically my workouts were wearing me out and making me unhappy. I always said that if it made me unhappy, I’d either take a break or switch it up.  Due to my crazy life right now, I am chosing to take a break and will “switch it up” when I have a chance to return to the workout scene.  Do you ever go through ruts like this?  It was nice to read some of your comments to see that you DO!  I particularly liked this one from Melissa

Hi Jessica! I’ve been reading your blog for a little while now but never commented. I totally experienced the same thing after my half. I wanted to keep my miles up so I’d just randomly do 8-10 mile runs, but soon realized that without tracking my miles through a training plan, I was running too much (my knees/shins/legs started to get mad at me). So I tried to focus on other things (like taking spin, yoga and body pump classes) and it definitely worked. Just wanted to let you know its TOTALLY normal to feel like you’re in a post-race workout rut. And that class sounds great!

Thanks for that Melissa!  Anyway, while I haven’t been doing PLANNED workouts, it does NOT mean I have put fitness to bed 🙂  yesterday I seriously got my WALK on during our school field trip to Philly!

I sported my dorky Reebok Shape-ups for some extra burn...It worked.

I had a TON of fun!

Here are some more pictoral highlights from the trip.  I felt like paparazzi!
So, needless to say, when I returned home last night I was sooo hangry!  I refueled in the weirdest but most DELICIOUS way!

Roasted sprouts, sea salt chips and PHILEO!

YUM!  Don’t judge!

Just Checking In!


Well, hello hello!  How are you all doing?  Just a general check-in post to see what’s on your mind (and to share what’s on mine)… SO, in “what’s new in my world,” I feel in a bit of a work out rut.  I am just not feeling it.  After Broad Street, I was determined to continue training…for what?  Nothing in particular, I just wanted to stay in good shape.  So, I am continuing to do ONE long run a week (th 8-mile Art Museum loop) along with some medium (5-6 mile) and shorter (3-4 mile) ones mized in. I am also trying to mix up my workouts now.  I noticed that although I have lost some body fat in training for Broad Street, my muscles are not as defined as I would like.  So, I hope to integrate some weight training into my workouts to ease boredom and spice it up!  I want to try a TRX class that they have at the Sporting Club.  Has anyone tried this before?  According to the Club website,

TRX is body-weight suspension workout that can be used by any ability level. Started by the U.S. Navy SEALs, TRX workouts can build power, strength, flexibility, balance, and aid in preventing injuries.

I wanna do it.  I think I might try to drag Sabrina with me, as she has tried new things with me before (think Zumba) and I try new things with her (think Bikram Yoga)…

A Beautiful Bridal-Shower-Sunday

Leave a comment

Yesterday I had the honor/pleasure of attending a VERY good family friend’s bridal shower…Jennie!  Jennie is Kelly-girl’s sister…

Kel and I (forever friends :-))

and I have known her for YEARS.  It is so amazing watching people grow up literally in front of your eyes.  So I somehow forgot to snap a picture of the lovely bride-to-be, but photographed some of the other adorabl-ness!

A cute sign-in plate and book

The "wishing well" which was BBQ themed! Cute!

The bride's seating area for gift opening!

The yummy buffet table

The food was delish and homemade by the bridesmaids (go Kel!)!  I had an amazing wrap that I thought was curried-chicken salad but was actually tuna (and contained raisins and nuts)-sooo yum!

Bride-To-Be's Sster Kelly and the cute Flower Girl!

Anyway, the shower was beautiful and I am sure it forecasted the beauty-to-come.  The wedding is in July and I am so excited!

Fight Night. Sporting Club Bellevue.

Leave a comment

What a fun night!  Loved it!  Again, pictures tell a thousand word. Let’s let them do “the blogging talking.”

What a blast!

PHILLIES! 5-21-10


Pictures speak a thousand words 😉

So Cute!

Leave a comment

This morning my lovely helper came in with an adorable treat for me…

So, two things…

1.  You KNOW I LOVE personalized stuff…

Exhibit A: personalized key-chain- love it!

2.  I love what this says about ME (Jessica)!

So true I feel; Sets high goasl, loves a challenge, speaks openly and honestly.  What do you think/hear your name means?  Do share!

Catching My Breath and Catching You UP!

Leave a comment

GOOOOOOD Friday everyone!  Wootwoot!  It has finally come (the weekend, that is)!  As you can assume (due to my blog-world absence), I have had a CRAZY week!  So, without further ado, let’s get started with a recap!

Sooo….Monday and Tuesday were pretty uneventful, but Wednesday was where the fun was to be had! 

First, I took a nice 8-mile river run.  I did it untimed becuase I was not really feeling it and I would say I walked about one of those miles along the way.  My belly was bothering me and I was just feelin tired, but becuase it was an out-and-back run, I had not choise but to complete.  So, I did, but boy was I spent!  Then, I headed over to the Rothman Institute to get my shoulder (and shin) checked out.  As you might remember, back in January, I went to have my shoulder and shin checked out.  Well, being the awful patient that I am, I did not exactly follow-up the way I should have.  Regarding my shin which we were worried might be stress-fractured, I did get off of it for a month. During that month, I did a lot of Cybex, Torture machine and swimming.

(pictured in order)


I eventually returned to running SLOWWWLY…

ANYWHOOOO with all of this running I have been doing, with Broad Street and whatnot, I seem to have aggravated both my shoulder and shin again.  So, Rothman Institute is where I found myself Wednesday.  Dr. Harwood is AWESOME and it is SOOO cool being inside the Eagles Prive Practive Nova Care Complex!  Here are some pictures I snuck (they ask for privacy, but clearly they did NOT mean bloggers, right?) LOL

Awesome view from my exam room

So, what’s the problem/prognosis you ask?  As for my shoulder, it is muscular but needs Physical Therapy twice weekly for 4-6 weeks.  As for my darn shin, I need to get a bone scan to rule out a bad stress fracture.  Bummer.  Will update you on that as soon as I can.  Anyway, it was a pretty cool experience and those people SURELY know what they are talking about!

Moving on to Thursday…the only news I have for you is this piece of deliciousness…

I just LOOOVE homemade pizza.  Sabrina talks about hers and certainly does it right!  My homemade pizza consists more of a store-bought crust (Boboli rocks) and my added toppings.  Hey, whatever works, right?  What is your favorite pizza type?  Delivery?  Homemade?  Do tell!  Happy Friday!  Toodles!

Whatta Weekend!


Goooooood Morning and Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?!?! Please do share in the comments!  Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite upsanddownes segment…WEEKEND WRAP-UP!  (aka I was too lazy to blog this weekend but had fun and want to share!)

First up…Friday night!  I had a mostly chill Friday evening, except for my jaunt in the park that was pre-planned with Stephie and oh-so fun!  🙂  I decided to get a quick run in before Steph arrived with Luxy.  It was BRUTALLY hot, so I only completed 2.5 miles in the sweltering Norristown Farm Park.  When Steph and Luxy arrived, we walked for 3.5 more miles (bringing my total to a not-so-shabby 6 miles!).  It was HOOOOOOT!  Poor Luxy girl! 

So Steph and I both wore our dorky awesome Reebok Shape-UPs!

I really enjoy these “fitness sneakers,” moreso than ones that try to do the same such as “Fit Flops” and the like.  I think the reason these babies are so effective is that not only do they work on the same concept as a Bosu balance ball,

they have actually bosu balance balls BUILT-IN to the shoe!

Whatevs. I know they aren’t gorgeous, but I like them!  They are effective and fun!  I can feel my glutes popping into shape along with my upper thighs.  LOL.  Anyway, they are worth trying.  Moving on…  Friday night I came home from Stephie’s chilled with the Husband and Oskie!

Boy- they both look really excited to see me...not!

So, Saturday I woke up not in the mood to run, but I bit the bullet and headed toward the river.  I decided to run TO the river and back as opposed to DRIVING to the river and then running there.  It was a good idea and I did about 6 miles.  When I got home I did some final preparations for my guest, Kelly!  I went to pick her up at the train and she immediately bonded with Oscar (who wouldn’t!)…

Oh, and PS:  while I was waiting for Kel at the train station, there was this guy with a serious Britney Spears-style snake

who FREAKED when I tried to take a picture because he said he was CHARGING people for pics.  Uh yea…oh well!  Check this out!

Heeeehheeee- he looks pissed! He shoulda been nicer!

SOOOO…Saturday Kelly and I hung out all day alone, as Husband was at a Philadelphia Union game.

We chatted some SERIOUS girl talk!  Fun!  Then, Saturday night, I decided to take Kel and Husband to…VARGA!  I wanted to give it another try. As you might have read before, I used to LOVE Varga. It is around the corner, adorable and delish!  BUT, they must’ve gotten a new chef along the way because my typical order of roasted brussel sprouts

and Varga salad started tasting…different (and not in a good way).

Old (amazing) Varga Salad

The “New Salad” was not even picture-worthy!  So, Saturday did not prove me wrong unfortunately.  While the sprouts were good, the salad SUCKED.  Like didn’t finish it sucked. Turns out they changed the ingredients all together and omitted my beloved squash! OY!  What to do?  I need a break from Varga. I think we might be splitting up.

Continuing on…so it was REALLY important to Kelly that we go to Phileo (duh- doesn’t everyone who visits Philly HAVE to go to Phileo?)

Well, at least Phileo didn’t disappoint!  We (obviously) ALL went to bed shortly after, in a food induced coma.

Sunday was the day of baseball like always, but before we did baseball, we did YOGA!  Lululemon (on Walnut Street in Philly) has FREE Yoga on Sunday mornings from 10-11.  They also feature different yoga studios each month, and this month we can give it up for my girl Shiya!  Shanti Yoga Shala is Lulu’s yoga studio of the month!  Yay!  So, Shiya taught free yoga on Sunday- of COURSE we had to go.  It was grrrreeeaaaat!  Go Shiya!  I felt challenged just enough to feel it was not a waste of my time 🙂  and good enough for a Sunday morning.  Woot woot!  IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO TAKE A CLASS WITH ME AT SYS, I WILL TREAT ANYTIME THROUGH THE END OF JUNE!  SIMPLY LOOK AT THE SHANTI YOGA SHALA SCHEDULE HERE AND EMAIL ME ASAP WITH YOUR AVAILIBLITY! JESSDOWNES1@GMAIL.COM

PS:  Are you keeping up with the Chaturanga Challenge?!?!?

The Dog Ate My Homework…

1 Comment

And other amazing excuses!  Being a teacher, I always get the best excuses (ranging from the dog ate my homework, to my Sister at my paper) but this morning I had quite the excuse of my own!  So I was late to work (AGAIN- I kinda always am) and had a great excuse this morning…

Life on a movie set!


Dark Fields was filming around the corner from my house so there were a million excuses trailers, etc. blocking my way and this little lady just HAD to sneak a peak at Mr. Cooper! 

OK, so I guess my fear of being late did interfere with that because after waiting five minutes with no appearance from the dude himself OR Renee, I decided I had to leave….kids were waiting!  But don’t worry Brad, Renee and “Bob” (Robert DeNiro and I are certainly on a first-name basis)

will be seeing me soon. This is NOT the end of my early-morning stalkings!

PS: According to MovieInsider.com, directed by Neil Berger, and starring Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks,Robert DeNiro, Abbie Cornish and Anna Friel, the movie is based on the novel “Dark Fields” written by Alan Glynn.  The story centers on a down-and-out writer who gets his hands on a top-secret pharmaceutical drug that makes one smarter. He experiences sudden financial and social success but soon discovers that the drug has lethal and lasting side effects, including “trip-switching,” a phenomenon in which time moves with a stop-motion quality. Before long, mysterious antagonists are pursuing him.

Interestingly, the movie is SUPPOSED to take place in NYC, so while filming in Philadelphia, they had to change some street signs, etc., to mirror the facade of New York.


Yup, that is supposed to be 19th Street in Philly!

Anywhoooo, exciting business in Philly, no!??!  Have YOU caught any of the action?

April Fools in MAY!

1 Comment

HAHAH!  NOOOOOOOOO!  I am NOT pregnant!  I was just playing “twin day” at school and got a lil’ pillow (and belly band) action!  Whatd’ya think?  To be honest, I think I look AWESOME!  LOL!  Kidding but seriously, it made me a little excited…a LITTLE 🙂  Now, for some real twin action…

 How cute is that?  My student teacher and I were matching Ryan Howard PHANS today for twin day!  Phillies Phan Phever Phor Phriday!  hehe…

OK, so onto more fun pics, here is a little dose of Eamon and Jess fun- we haven’t had a ton on the blog lately, so I thought I’d indulge you:-)

Last night we had a nice homemade dinner and chit-chat (we are SUCH girls lol)

And finally, just a silly picture of hippie-honey me 🙂

SO….what are your weekend plans? Do tell!  Tonight I am going for a quick 3-miler in the Farm Park and then meeting Stephie and Luxy for a looonnnng walkie walk in the park- wootwoot!  My two girls!

Then, I am planning to head home and face plant 🙂

Tomorrow I am hoping to do a long training run and conquer my favorite loop again.  Then, I am having a great group of girls over to hang out (eat, drink and chat).  One of those friends is staying over for some more fun and then hitting up Husband’s baseball games with me Sunday morning. A fun fun weekend ahead! Share your plans!