Sunday, June 30, 2013

Watch out New York! (and pictures of running and food)

Sunday afternoons are my favorite because they are my designated time to catch up on cleaning, laundry, and oh yeah my favorite thing - TV. In between the folding, windex-ing, and Netflix marathons, I managed to throw together a photo dump of what's been going on since Tuesday's post. In short, pictures of what I've eaten intermixed with some super attractive selfies.

Like I said, you're welcome.

Wednesday was a rest day from running, so after working a long day, I came home, planked, sweated through 8 minute arms, and then rewarded myself with an hour of reading by the pool where my only physical activity was turning the page. 


Thursday morning I threw together the last of my TJ's steel cut oatmeal with bananas and cinnamon which was the most delightful combination yet. Seriously y'all that's some good stuff.

Thursday nights are evening training runs with the FW Running Company Group. 
In case anyone was wondering, running at 6:30pm in Texas is really effin' hot. 

I really don't know if I've ever sweated more in my entire life. It was an easy run (well as easy as running in 100 degree weather can be) and I made it a point not to push myself because killing over from a heat stroke was not on my to do list for the day. I'm really glad I survived the run because when I got home I was met by my boyfriend and my awesome wife/roommate with an INCREDIBLE chicken fajita dinner. Spoiled? 

Yes, yes I am

(PS the perks of living approximately a half a mile away from Chipotle is that every single home cooked Mexican meal is majorly enhanced by their delicious guacamole. Seriously I don't even bother making my own guac anymore-just take me to Chipotle.)

Friday was another day of work insanity (I'm starting to forget what a normal work day is like...) but after work I met up with my sweet friend Madysen (aka awesome pink sign friend) to celebrate her birthday! She texted me with the awesome idea of trying out a Blow Dry Bar before heading to her birthday dinner. Lucky for me Friday was pay day, so I was totally game!

Before: normal hair, but larger than normal smiles because MIMOSAS!

And champagne.

And more champagne because, well, do I need a reason?

We left feeling like rockstars (the champagne may have had something to do with that) and headed off to Don Pablo's for a delicious birthday dinner where my favorite baby in the entire world made an appearance.

The cuteness is ridiculous.

Peyten says hi and that she would like to stick her hands in all of your salsa.

Good hair is a terrible thing to waste. I was a little bummed out that in approximately 8 hours my Saturday morning run would have destroyed my just paid for hair, so I took a picture for you. 

Don't get used to that. It will never happen again.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early at and out the door by 6am to meet up for my first weekend marathon training run with the awesome FW Running Company people. In all the excitement I completely forgot to charge my Garmin and so this was my attempt at charging during the 15 minute drive. It almost worked, my watch died somewhere between mile 4 and 5. Oh well. 

I have never run with a group before. Let me clarify. I have never run with a group of people who are so equally obsessed with running that for the entire duration of the run all they talk about is running.


After reading and listening to the coaches talk about how your long  weekend runs (they aren't long yet but as marathon training progresses they will be) are supposed to be done at an aerobically easy pace, I decided I should probably take the expert's advice and chill the heck out and slow the heck down. I stuck with the 9:30 pace group for the full 6 miles and I would definitely categorize it as an easy run. I know that as the weather gets a little cooler into the fall and the  runs build up to 20 miles I will be so grateful that I decided to stick with the 9:30 pace, but it is a little tough right now since I feel like I have all this extra energy and am used to a little bit quicker pace. Luckily the pace group I am with is awesome and super fun. Seriously. I have no idea how I will ever run alone again. Marathon training is going to be SO FREAKING FUN. Also there was chocolate milk. Which was delicious.

After the run, I headed to run a super fun errand!

NOT. I had to buy new tires. Which was boring and expensive and their reading material is dull.

Question. Does anyone else feel like running entitles them to multiple breakfasts? Because I do. On my way out the door I had a pre-run brownie Cliff Bar, and then afterwards I had a post-run bagel and schmear from Einsteins...

And then approximately 2.5 hours later I had eggs, bacon, toast, and hash browns. I have no picture but I promise it actually happened. You can ask Taylor. My appetite is ridiculous. 

Anyways, mid-bagel I remembered that I need to do my 8 minute arms and #plankaday so I did and my word of advice to you is that if you want to hit a personal #plankaday best you should listen to Beyonce because damn that girl is empowering.

Y'all I will absolutely flip shit if I make it to the 3 minute mark. Up until about a week ago the longest plank I'd ever done was 45 seconds. I am nowhere near as hardcore as this awesome planker

After planking and eating (I get the feeling that this is not the conventional way of working out but I was never really given a formal training so OH well) I hopped in the shower and got ready to head out to Tater Tot's house where we planned on going to see a movie... 

Compromise. It's what's for dinner. 
Buuut decided to take a nap instead. No, we aren't very exciting but the nap was free. And free is always good, right?

After napping (napping is just so amazing) Taylor and I headed downtown to meet up with my BFFs Alli and Allison to celebrate Alli's birthday! We met up at Chuy's (in case you can't tell we are kindove obsessed with that place) for Fajita's and friend time.

Favorites favorites. 
Alli left for vacation this morning, so after our early dinner, they headed back to Dallas. Taylor and I were then forced to entertain ourselves and luckily we are really good at that. 

Taylor's roommate and his girlfriend have been trying to get us to try Sweet Sammie's for approximately 1 million years and last night we finally did. Ruling? AMAZE-BALLS.

The rest of the evening consisted of drinking wine out of a pint glass (cause I'm classy) and watching HIMYM and falling asleep embarrassingly early for a Saturday night. 

I felt slightly guilty about passing out before 11pm, so when we woke up this morning I asked Taylor if he wanted to go to Cabela's (Cabela's is to Taylor as Target is to Natalie) and if I remember correctly his response consisted of an overly excited hop, skip, and a jump out of bed. So off to Cabela's we went. Where I entertained my self with instavideo.

Instagram @nataliehickson

Taylor is 104% sure that while in New York City I will be attacked in the dark alley way that I will most certainly be spending the majority of my time. Paranoid much? It's really my fault, I forced him to watch countless season of Law and Order SVU with me, so I should've expected this. 

Apparently this is what I will be carrying around New York to ward off all the bad guys. 
Yes, I definitely see that happening. 

A great weekend! I'd apologize for this post being really long but that's totally out of character and also I don't mean it. Now I'm off to my two favorite places, Trader Joe's and Target. Sundays are the!



Monday, June 24, 2013

I think I speak for all woman-kind when I say...

Sandra Bullock. I've got a bone to pick with you. You're setting the bar wayyy too high here. If I don't look anywhere near as good as you when I'm 23, how in the hell can I be expected to look that good at 48

Answer - I can't. Now please excuse me while I drown my sorrows in a bag of chocolate covered pretzels.

But really this is just unacceptable. We shouldn't even allow her to leave her house looking like that. 

I decided that instead of risking an almost certain heat stroke running in 98 degree weather after work, I'd get my lazy butt out of bed to knock out a quickie run out on the trails at 6am. In the most surprising turn of Monday events, I woke up with lots of unexplained extra energy. I know, I am as surprised as you are.

PLUS, I finally got to bust out my awesome birthday present from my sweet friend Emily.

Is that not the greatest shirt you've ever seen? You're jealous, I know.
It was a great little run to jump start the work week. I mean, watching the sun rise while rockin' out to Beyonce? UM, yeah, that's my happy place.

 So, every single time I go to Trader Joe's I have,to buy at least one thing I haven't tried yet. It's a rule. Usually it ends up being more like 72 things I haven't tried yet, but you get the point. Anyways, yesterday I snagged this box of steel cut oatmeal and after my run I decided to give it a try.

 The oatmeal comes in little frozen blocks and you just heat them up for a few minutes in the microwave and voila, good to go. It was actually quite a bit of oatmeal, definitely a bigger serving than you get from an instant pack of oatmeal. I loved the texture, and sprinkled a little bit of brown sugar and cinnamon on top. If I hadn't been in such a rush, I would have cut up some banana and thrown it on top. That would have been delicious. 

I am really getting serious about starting up my own Iphone food photography business on the side. 
Tell me what you think of this:

"Scrum-diddly-umptious Photography - capturing all of your precious meal time moments."

No?? Fine. I'll keep working on it.

On a more positive note, I'm really glad to see the word is spreading quickly about the awesomeness that is the new Miley Cyrus music video. Awareness is key, people. 

I have had a ridiculous appetite lately, and after munching on pretty much anything I could get my hands on at work, I came home and demolished an entire squash, zucchini, and red potato. But only after enjoying a chocolate brownie Cliff Bar - as an appetizer. 

Since I got my cardio out of the way this morning, I made a little time for my first #plankaday (yes, I do realize that I am 24 days late on that challenge)...

...and a hilarious 8 minute arms video that left my entire upper body feeling like jello. 

And now I am approximately one episode of HIMYM away from my bed time. This Monday = success.



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Miley Cyrus: I want my 3 minutes and 34 seconds back (and a weekend recap)

Soooooo, I just watched the music video for "We Can't Stop" and oh, dear Lord, please make it stop. Not only am I really grossed out, I am also genuinely confused by the events that transpired in that video. My thoughts are as follows:

 Like an infant, it seems that Miley has just recently discovered her tongue. 

And she really wants us to be aware of that fact. Why else would she be licking any and every miscellaneous object she comes into contact with? 

 Next, I would like to have a word with the young man who we see chowing down on the money sandwich. Where is his mother??  And it's not just any money sandwich. I feel like I might be able to forgive him if they were ones. But those are benjamins baby, BENJAMINS! 

The very least he could do is make it a money sandwich on wheat. 

And just when I thought I couldn't be any more offended...


A blatant attack on my most favorite thing. 

UGH. Just, UGH.


Because I love you and I really don't want you to have awful nightmares about twerking, I'm going to give you a good solid weekend recap that will hopefully push the disturbing images of Miley Cyrus and her very messy friends out of your mind. 

Friday evening after work Taylor, Allison, and I all piled into the car and headed down to Brownwood for the weekend to celebrate our friend (and my favorite college roomie) Alli's birthday. Two hours in the car with my favorite people followed up with a full weekend spent with all the rest of my favorite people??? UM, yes please

After staying up wayyyy too late talking and reminiscing all of Friday night, we all headed out around 9 for a fun (and insanely hot) group run where I tested out the very new and fancy instavideo.

(PS best friend is not a morning person...which is why her energy was slightly different.)

And of course, a blurry and sweaty post run pic!

A delicious post-run breakfast. 

After breakfast, we all suited up and headed out for a lake day. 

I love all these beautiful ladies!

After soaking up the sun, and eating one too many hot dogs, we headed back to the house to get ready for the birthday dinner!

We had a great dinner at Humphrey Pete's. Fun fact: I waited tables at Humphrey Pete's for three years while I was in college. Some good times and some not so good times. Last night was a good time :)

After dinner, we headed back to the house for cake and games and more birthday celebrating!

Long story short, I love those people, and leaving them is always bittersweet!

Speaking of sweet...

You just can't do a roadtrip to through the Texas heartland without making a Dairy Queen pit stop. 
Really, you can't. I've tried. 

And now it is time for kettle corn for dinner in my unmade bed.  

Do you see the napkin? That's maturity, folks.




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