Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jenna Wolfe Detox

Toni's new slogan: If it ends in "os" it's gross!

She's trying to say that we should stay away from sugar and other things that aren't good for our bodies to run at their best! Toni found an article about a young woman's 30 day detox (Jenna Wolfe). I think I'm going to give it a shot -- what's 30 days, after all?!

For her detox, Jenna eliminated dairy, caffeine, yeast, refined sugars, commercially-prepared condiments, bread, gluten, peanuts, vinegar, beef, pork, veal, alcohol and chocolate from her diet. She replaced them with "clean" foods -— fresh, organic vegetables and fruits, free-range poultry, wild-caught fish, gluten-free bread, and complex carbs, such as sweet potatoes, and whole grains such as quinoa.

Instead of following specific recipes, Jenna prepares her food simply: For dinner she'll have grilled free-range poultry with a sweet potato and organic broccoli, or grilled wild-caught salmon with quinoa and organic spinach, for instance. She snacks on things like almonds, organic berries or some avocado slices. She says she enjoys eating these healthy foods and that she feels great and has tons of energy.

Soooo ... Natalie and I have a date at a restaurant called Hot Chocolate in Chicago on Wednesday, but after that I'm going to give this a real effort! Does anyone want to do it with me to try and challenge each other to stick with it?! We could do it from Feb 4 to Feb 28 ... so it will only be a little over three weeks long. Any takers?? :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I've had some requests from friends to see photos ... and I want to let you know that I should get some soon! But for now, this is what I've got: hope it will do! I'll be certain to let you know whenever I get an album going. :)

Ashley Turns 24

24 was the most uneventful birthday in the history of Ashley Bradarich, which seems a bit odd considering this is probably one of the most exciting years of my life! First, I slept through my alarm from being soooo exhausted and had to take the late train to work. But before that, I walked outside to get my car and found my sister's car had wound up in the ditch because of all the ice and snow on our driveway! I didn't get down there in time to see the car before my dad rescued it ... but here are the afteraffects!

After all that, I made it to work only 30 minutes late, headed to the gym and then pretty much just went to bed. I can't believe how tired I was! However, I did manage to pamper myself on my lunch break from work -- I went and got a delightful and relaxing pedicure ... mmm how I love those! Also, my co-worker Natalie thought it would make my day to play a movie in the background on her computer while we worked ... so we watched the original Willy Wonka. Whatever happened to Veruca Salt? She was such a bad egg.

But anyway ... back to my birthday tale: No one was really home at my house to help me celebrate (which is another oddity because there are 7 people in my family) ... and I was too tired to go out and see friends, lol. When my mom finally came home we had a make-shift celebration which ended up being so lame it was funny and I HAD to take a picture:

Its me, sweaty and gross because I just got home from the gym, sitting at the kitchen counter with no friends and no family, nothing but a simple card, and the only thing we could find in the kitchen that we could get a candle in -- a LEMON. Hahaha. It REALLY was lame. But this weekend we'll be going out to an official birthday dinner at a restaurant of my choice and will be eating delicious cake on which we will try not to burn down the house with all the candles for this old lady! Hehe.

I'm just happy to have made it another year, happy and healthy and with wonderful friends and family who are always there for me. And dad ... if you're reading this ... next year all I want for my birthday is a spot in the garage so my car isn't so cold in the morning!! LOL. For all of those not living in Chicago ... it was -2 windchill today. BRRRR!!!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I thought it was fun working in the office at Robinson & Maites, but as it turns out ... it's the most fun when the employees of R&M get together at a party and cut loose. WOO! Saturday night we all gathered for a Bat Mitzvah celebration for Ellie, the boss's daughter. I have never been to a Bat Mitzvah before and didn't really know what to expect, but I was excited to see how a religious ceremony happens differently from the Catholic services I am used to. Well ... it was an awesome experience and I couldn't be happier that I got to take part in it.

Earlier that day I was getting down on myself. I was starting to feel a little pressure as Miss Illinois USA, wondering if I could match up with the other girls at the Miss USA Pageant, and just questioning if I had what it takes to be a great representative for my state. I know I have it in me, but for a moment I questioned that spark, wondering if anyone saw it other than my friends and family ... and trying to figure out a way to bring that spark to life -- to make it shine for all of Illinois and the country. I wondered, "Ugh. Where do I start?!" And then, as if it was being sent to me in a direct message from some power greater than myself, Ellie inspired me.

Ellie, a 13-year-old girl ... got up in front of nearly 200 people on Saturday, proving to all of us that she had worked hard, studied long, and was ready to be a Bat Mitzvah who would become responsible for her actions and her future. Her bravery radiated as she sang the Hebrew lyrics from the scroll and her courage never failed her. She had learned another language (and quite a difficult one), and sang it loud and clear for the people there supporting her. Some of the guests she knew and some of them she didn't, but she worked hard for that moment and couldn't wait to show it, no matter who was watching. I was so proud of her for accomplishing all of this, for working so hard to learn Hebrew and for getting up there in front of everyone. It made me think, "OK. Ellie is obviously nervous, but she worked so hard and she wants to do this for herself, so she is just going to do it!"

Her courage and her performance reminded me that this is what I want - a chance to shine as Miss Illinois USA at the Miss USA Pageant. I remembered how hard I worked to get to the Miss Illinois USA Pageant and how much harder I worked to achieve the crown. Ellie re-lit my spark in a way, and I feel better than ever ... if she can do it, so can I. :)

And then came the party ...

The guests gathered in the ballroom of the hotel for music, food, friends and fun and boy did we have it all. What a great time dancing and singing along to the music and eating all of the wonderful food! At one point I was on the dance floor breaking out my moves (or lack there of, you know ... whatever), and a little boy from Ellie's school came up to me and said, "Excuse me! Are you reeeaaally Miss Illinois USA?" My reply being a somewhat hesitant, "Yes, I am." He immediately turned around to the crowd of 13-year-old boys standing behind him (that I hadn't noticed up to that point) and exclaimed, "Guys! She is!"

Immediately, about 25 13-year-old boys ran up to me, camera phones in hand taking pictures, pushing me up against the wall to try and get closer to me, and just completely taking over my moment on the dance floor. It was so shocking and crazy that I didn't quite know what to do! Before I knew it, the adults had gotten security to get them off of me, lol, and sent me to another room so they could clear out the boys and get me back to my table safely. It was just hilarious, but awesome. I felt like I had the paparazzi on me with all of those camera phones. I had never gotten such a great reaction from boys before -- particularly 13-year-old boys. I had to have security follow me around for the remainder of the evening as the boys tried to scheme new ways to capture my photograph. I really wouldn't have minded taking pictures with them, but I think the adults were worried that I may be tackled again, haha.

At the end of the party the boys and I did manage to get a group shot of which I'm very much looking forward to seeing. It was really crazy, but definitely something I'll always remember even if I don't ever get to see the picture!

And if you've made it this far in the post, thank you for reading. I have three appearances this week -- Wednesday, Friday and Saturday ... and will be doing a photoshoot on Friday for new pictures for the Miss Illinois USA website and the Miss USA website as well. Check back to hear more later in the week! ... and wish me luck!!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Another Chance to Shine

Do you remember Caitlin Upton? She was Miss South Carolina Teen USA in 2007. She managed to get an awful amount of publicity over her answer to the on-stage interview question during the Miss Teen USA Pageant, including over 39 million hits on YouTube. Now it seems that she is making a comeback to prove her intelligence to the world, and to show us how successfully she can use a map! Good for her :)

Caitlin and her boyfriend Brent Horne will compete for $1 million dollars on the 16th edition of CBS's "The Amazing Race," which will premiere on February 14 at 8 PM EST on CBS. I've never watched this television program before, but I've heard it's a wonderful show -- it must be since it's in the 16th season!

Go Caitlin GO!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Archive: Today's Miscellaneous Stuff


World's Largest Bunny

World's Tallest Model

The Origins of 9 Charities Named After People

Evolution of the Crayola Crayon

Balloon Dress

Benefits of Water

Drink up folks ...

According to "ShapeFit":
The human body, which is made up of between 55 and 75 percent water (lean people have more water in their bodies because muscle holds more water than fat), is in need of constant water replenishment.

Your lungs expel between two and four cups of water each day through normal breathing - even more on a cold day. If your feet sweat, there goes another cup of water. If you make half a dozen trips to the bathroom during the day, that's six cups of water. If you perspire, you expel about two cups of water (which doesn't include exercise-induced perspiration).

Water is crucial to your health. It makes up, on average, 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water.


Ashley's tips:
I bring a 1 liter bottle of water with me wherever I go during the day and try to get through it 2-4 times before I go to bed. 4 liters equals about a gallon of water, so if this doesn't sound right for you, I recommend trying to get through 2 liters per day instead of 4! As you may know, toooooo much water can be a bad thing :)

Also, I work in an office, so I have the ability to use the restroom all day long. I do NOT recommend trying to get through 4 liters of water if you are out about and on the go all day long. As you can imagine, the need for a restroom can come up quite often when you're going through that much water. However, keep in mind that your body is being flushed with this water, and that you are not drinking it for nothing.

When you think you're hungry, drink one or two tall glasses of water first. Thirst and hunger are often confused ... and if its thirst you can make your tummy feel better without the calories!

If you just don't enjoy drinking water, don't worry. I didn't used to like it either, but now that I've MADE myself drink it ... I crave it! You can too. OOR, sometimes when I'm bored with the plain taste of water I'll add some crystal light ... or I'll even purchase "Clear," the sugar free, naturally flavored, sparkling water bottles (click here to see)


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

World Record for the Smallest Waist!

This woman, Cathie Jung, has a waist about the same size as a regular jar of mayonnaise. She's been wearing a corset every day for the past 12 years! I hope beauty pageants never go this route ... YIKES! Her waist is smaller than Barbie's!

I am Not Miss Illinois

I am Miss Ilinois USA. There is a difference :)

According to Wikipedia, The Miss Illinois competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state of Illinois in the Miss America pageant. The Miss Illinois pageant started in 1927, several years after the initial Miss America pageant. There have been 5 Miss Americas from Illinois.

In the Miss America Pageant women are judged on personal interview, talent, lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit, evening wear, and an onstage question.


The Miss Illinois USA pageant is a competition that selects the representative for the state Illinois in the Miss USA pageant.

Illinois is one of the most successful states in the competition. It is one of only four states to have won four or more Miss USA titles and one of only three states to win two Miss USA titles in consecutive years. All four winners came from the early history of the competition, with their last Miss USA being Karen Morrison, who held the title in 1974.

In the Miss USA Pageant women are judged on personal interview, fitness in swimsuit, evening wear, and an onstage question.


So now you know :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Cardio I Tried

It's a toughy! For the best workout, find a place that has "real" stairs ... not the stepper machine at the gym. I used the highschool's weight room and ran the bleachers at the pool.

10 min on treadmill (intervals)
... 7.0 speed, 2.0 incline, 1 min
... 5.2-5.5 speed, 0 incline, 30 seconds
... repeat for a total of 10 minutes

5 minute run up/down stairs

5 min treadmill (intervals)
... 6.5-7.0 speed, 2.0 incline, 1 minute
... 5.2-5.5 speed, 0 incline, 30 seconds
... repeat for a total of 5 minutes

3 minutes alternate butt kick/high knee every 30 seconds
2 minutes jump rope
1 min jump jack
1 minute side step up stair left foot first (2 stair at a time)
1 min stand squat
1 minute side step up stair right foot first (2 stair at a time)
1 minute stand squat
2 min jump rope
1 min jump jack

5 minute treadmill interval
... 6.7-7.0 speed, 0 incline, 1 minute
... 5.0 speed, 0 incline, 30 seconds

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Does Fashion Head South for the Winter?

I saw the nuttiest outfit this morning. Some girl was wearing sweatpants over her jeans tucked into black boots and a teal jacket with a pink sweatshirt poking out of the bottom. She had navy blue gloves on, a purple scarf wrapped around her neck, a black hat, and a red scarf wrapped around her head and face on top of that. Her nose was red as a stoplight, and she was walking so fast I thought she was going to knock someone over. Hah. What a dork. Oh, but by the way … hehe … it was me.

What does a girl have to do to stay warm in Chicago!?!?!

Typically during my 2-hour commute from home to the office I spend some of the time people watching – mostly because I can’t find a more exciting way to pass the time! I observe the funny quirks of the man who is always late for the train and the way he scrambles to get his dollar in the parking meter before the train doors shut. I watch for the woman with the blonde ponytail each day, because she carries the best purses. I wonder constantly how women’s hair continues to look so nice after it has been blown around by the Chicago wind (I certainly haven’t figured out their tricks). And I wonder what the stories are behind the people begging for money on the sidewalks – there must be some to tell.

But above all, I loooooove looking at the fashions … and during my walk from the train to the office I see lots of different styles. Now, of course, not everyone in Chicago has the greatest fashion sense, but many do … and so, I observe. Cute skirts, fancy boots, layers, accessories, jackets and more all make their way on to the streets of Chicago. It’s like inStyle magazine for free and in real life – woohoo!! But now, as the winter weather is fully upon us, the great Chicago fashions are slowly going into hiding. Shucks!

It seems that as the temperature gets to be below 30 degrees Fahrenheit and the breath of the people outside is there for everyone to see, the women care less and less about the way they look and more and more about keeping their ears from getting frostbitten – go figure! From time to time I see women walking in single-digit temperatures with no hat or gloves on and I can seeeeee the redness of their skin aching with numbness, poor girls. But others, wrapped from head to toe with warm fuzzy layers walk as quickly as possible to their destinations to keep their body heat up and to get out of the cold sooner.

Guys, on the other hand, seem to brave the weather a little more boldly than the women. I see men without hats or scarves much more frequently than women (typically with less hair on their heads too), and even some with frozen fingers, clenched tightly inside their pockets without any kind of additional protection. Come on guys! You don’t need to impress us with your strength against the freezing weather – we want you to bundle up! It’s the same thing when men refuse to carry umbrellas. Silly, silly boys, we’re not judging you … we know that by carrying them you just want to make it to your destination warm and dry! Geez Louise!

So anyway … as my walk to work becomes less interesting in the chills of winter, I can at least look forward to the warm weather that will soon enough arrive, and the cute fashions that will break out from beneath those big, puffy winter jackets. In the mean time, I think I’ll grab some hot chocolate … because I can’t feel my toes anymore! Brrrrr Chicago!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A New Year

Happy 2010! Have all of you been good since the start of the new year? Have you followed your resolutions up to now? Well, I must say ... all of the people in Homer Glen who resolved to join a gym and get back into fitness have most certainly been keeping by their word thus far. Hooooolllly SMOKES was the gym crowded this weekend! I was there three times and not once was I able to get a machine right away. I felt like a stalker ... watching the patrons on the equipment I wanted until they got off, hoping I could be the first person to jump on next. Geesh! It did get me thinking though -- what can you do when you can't get a machine, OR ... when you can't get to the gym at all?

Well, I will admit ... when I get to the gym prepared for a workout with my trainer, Toni, I am the most frightened of what's to come when I show up and the only equipment she has out is a 5 pound dumbbell and a stretch chord. For some reason, working out with my own body weight is just as challenging as when we are pumping iron together, or doing suicides and sprints. It is not difficult to put a body-weight workout together if you know what areas of the body you want to work -- and let me be the first to say, with just that simple dumbbell and stretch chord you can work the whoooooole thing!

Buuuut, don't get too excited, because I haven't gotten a chance to put anything together for you yet. :( Check back soon!