Things I Love Thursdays | Throwback Thursdays

It’s all over Twitter, Facebook and any other social media network you subscribe to. #TBT, or Throwback Thursdays, bring us back to childhood (which for me is the ’90s) and makes us nostalgic for the past. Going through old Facebook pictures to post on here for a throwback was hilarious and helps to keep me grounded. I can’t believe how far I’ve come in less than 10 years from high school and how much I have changed. In light of Throwback Thursdays, I will occasionally throw some old school pictures in here. Today you get three 🙂

Sand Dune Surfing in Australia in 2004

Sand Dune Surfing in Australia in 2004

Colorguard/Marching Band competition in 2004

Colorguard/Marching Band competition in 2004

Not even sure what year this is... myself, and my brother and my cousins growing up at my aunt's pool!

Not even sure what year this is… myself, my brother and my cousins growing up at my aunt’s pool!

Things I Love Thursdays | Spinning Classes

The first time I went spinning was in college in either 2008 or 2009. The only things I remember were being really sweaty and really hating it. Since then, I have avoided every spinning class… ever… and turned myself into a runner and strength trainer. I have been just fine without spinning in my life, regardless of how attractive and fun it seemed for everyone else. All I would think about automatically is, “no– that is something I hate.”

A coworker of mine became a certified spin instructor this past Saturday, and in an effort to be supportive I offered to attend her first spin class. I have spent about half of the day dreading it (when I remembered to) and was dragging as I left work, put on my workout gear, and laced up my sneakers.

 

However, after Kristen and I trekked across town to a tiny cycling studio in Brandon, I was a little excited. When we got  there and finally went through the 30-35 minute class, I decided that (aside from my butt bone pain from the seat) I kind of love spinning classes. My legs are so much stronger now that I’ve been doing strength training in conjunction with running, and I felt like a beast. My calves and quads and hammies were burning, endurance ringing through my muscles.

 

I guess the thing to take away from this is… just because you don’t like something when you’re 21 doesn’t mean you won’t love it when you’re 25. I guess that’s applicable to a lot of things.

 

🙂

Things I Love Thursday | The Spirit of the Running Community

In light of the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy about 10 days ago, I have come to love and appreciate running– and the community that comes with it– so much more.

Boston Magazine, May 2013

The tragedy that engulfed America and the running community last week put in perspective how lucky I am to be able to run. To still have my legs. Watching footage during my Tuesday morning run of shrapnel and pieces of whatever flying everywhere broke my heart as people who had been running for four hours crossed the finish line and continued to run for their lives. The most frustrating thing (for me) that surrounds tragedy like this is people like Neil:

Twitter

In no way do I intend to downplay the soldiers, nurses, and everyone else who have dedicated their lives for defending the United States. Men and women who are far away from home and fear for their lives every day. But let’s not forget the special training they receive. Their clothing– they have significantly more than a fuel belt and some tech shorts/shirts for protection. Again, my heart goes out to all military personnel, and every terrifying day they endure… but I am sure that does not mean we should downplay other tragedies when they strike.

The running community was in an uplifting uproar after the Boston Marathon explosions. The Mighty Brighties running Facebook page even posted,

“If you’re trying to defeat the human spirit, marathoners are the wrong group to target.”

So, so true. Of the things that runners endure for the love of their sport; something that is so much a part of them… I think the community was only made stronger by this tragedy. I don’t know about “running for Boston,” but I can certainly [continue to] run for those who cannot.

Random addition:

There are several running groups on Facebook that also make me SO happy to be a part of the community. We see so much animosity between girls and women, but there is absolutely nothing but strength and empowerment coming from the posts. So. Much. Love.

Things I Love Thursdays | Living Alone

….Which sounds incredibly depressing and potentially self-depricating, but I really do enjoy living alone. I am able to count on one hand the number of people who I have actually been able to get along with in a confined apartment (or home) space. Living alone means living well.

 

Although, I will admit that I may have had a few moments (or seven) that look like the scene in Season 2, Episode 5 of Sex and the City when Miranda gets her own apartment, chokes on some food and has to give herself the Heimlich maneuver. Miranda ends up being fine, but continues to worry that she will die alone, only to be discovered after her cat has consumed half of her face. I had one of these moments with my boss last year. She reminded me that this is absolutely ridiculous, and if someone didn’t hear from me for even a few hours, several people would come looking for me (the perks of a live-in position). Good thing– I can’t have a cat.

 

When I get home, I put my purse on one of three chairs (because I only need one!) and walk into my bedroom and throw my cardigan on my king-sized bed (also a perk of living-in!) walk out of my jeans and throw on pajama pants.  Finally, I sit down on my couch that sometimes doubles as a desk for all of my homework, school books/papers, etc.  Why do I live like I’m in college? Because I can. And no one can say anything about it.

I will say that I am a considerate roommate. When I live with someone else, I keep my multi-purpose surface nonsense in my own space and am on top of cleaning dishes and making sure the living room is a clean, comfortable place to socialize. I am looking forward to settling down and finding someone to share my life and personal space with, but I want to make sure I can remember the times when it was okay for my coffee table to look like this:

 

 

 

My mentor recently moved into a 2-bedroom apartment and uses the second bedroom as a “dressing” space. I love this. I have also expanded my closet into a second closet in the bathroom so I don’t have to smush my clothes (read: break the closet rod) in the designated closet space.

 

I’m not sure if I’ll ever grow out of leaving some clothes next to the hamper instead of making it IN to the hamper or if there will be a point in time for me where I feel the need to have my bathroom counter space cleared and organized, but for now… I can enjoy those quirks about me, and maybe find someone else who loves them too (…or can at least live with them :)).

Things I Love Thursdays | Chopping Off Your Hair For a Good Cause (or Because You Feel Like It)

This is a day belated… but I had class yesterday and was up early to run (yay!)… so here we are at Friday!

 

 

 

A couple of days ago, you may have read that Kellie Pickler shaved her head  to raise awareness about breast cancer and to celebrate and support a close friend. Shaving your hair off is no easy feat; it’s not just a “cosmetic” thing… hair grows back unevenly, many women look “weird” or “masculine,” and it could throw some women into fits of insecurity. When I cut my hair short recently (not shaved-head short, but pretty damn short) the women I worked with supported me, saying things like, “women who know they’re pretty can rock short hair,” or, “women who are already confident don’t have to hide behind their hair.” I’m pretty sure a lot of them hated it and thought I looked ridiculous but… I don’t really care 🙂

I love that Kellie Pickler who used to look like this (and is self-admittedly not a natural blonde) has no hair as a music-industry entertainer. I think that’s a huge sacrifice to make to support a friend– A good one! When I was a cashier at Wegmans, a woman came through my checkout line and she was wearing a baseball hat and kept adjusting it. She was very clearly uncomfortable, and let me know that a close friend had recently been diagnosed with cancer and to be supportive, this woman shaved her own head with her friend. I just remember thinking how awesome that is… I mean, that is love. I know that if a close friend of mine was going through that, I would be on board with shaving my head in support of her… not for the recognition, but I know what it’s like to lose a whole bunch of hair, and it really, really sucks. To have had someone who understood would have been pretty invaluable. So, shaving your head is brave.

 

Although, didn’t we all think Britney Spears went crazy when she shaved her own head several years ago?

Yeah… That wasn’t “brave,” that kind of was just crazy. Or, was it? Many more women are taking the plunge and either cutting hair very short or shaving it off altogether. For others, hair is defining– it is femininity, it is beauty, it is who they are. Admittedly, I guess that was partly me.

 

After my month and a half in the hospital a few years ago, about 75% of my hair fell out in chunks… I have not been through chemotherapy or other radiation treatments… but I imagine it must be something like that. If I knew then that I wouldn’t look ridiculous with a pixie cut, i would have undoubtedly gone down that route. Instead, I went with a bob cut and you could see right through my curtain of hair. It has taken years to grow back… several months after the initial “falling out,” my hair stood straight out at 1/2 an inch to an inch long, and it drove me crazy. When it had finally started growing in without looking weird, my ex was joking and said he was going to shave half of my head off (after I had jokingly threatened to shave one of his eyebrows off… I’m not entirely sure what started this, but it was definitely me), and I burst into tears. I felt terrible– I told him he’d done nothing wrong, but my hair was just… my hair. It had fallen out after I had already lost so much (my life and friends in Florida, freedom and flexibility, my plan…) and was only just finally coming back. And here I am, three years later going against everything and chopping it off. I also went blonde this summer, which was something very, very new for me (my “about me” picture is blonde… I will have to take a new one soon with the brunette me).

 

Basically, I went from this:

 

 

To this:

From left to right: Myself, Sam, Jon

 

 

To this:

Just cut!

 

 

To this:

Myself and Amy at Star Wars Weekend!

Of course, now I’m in the process of going back to brunette, but I definitely feel significantly more confident with really short hair. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a choice… If I’m having a bad hair day, EVERYONE will know… no more default ponytails or french braids. And I literally have three hairstyles: styled, mohawk, bed head… or a combination of the three. I have the worst cowlick EVER on the back of my head, so if it’s not styled correctly it looks super wacky. Regardless, I’m so happy with my hair, and have received mixed reviews from men. All of my ex’s hate it (DON’T CARE!), guys I meet “prefer” longer hair (DON’T CARE!) and guys where I work LOVE it and tell me it looks great (if they’re lying, they hide it well and I don’t care!)… and their opinion doesn’t exactly “matter” either, but it sure does make me feel good… because of the three, their thoughts have more validity.

Anyway, now I’m growing my hair out again… we’ll see how long this lasts. At least for now, I’m going for an “Audrey Hepburn look for Halloween, circa Roman Holiday. After that, I’ll either let it grow out a bit more and then get sick of it and chop it off again. Thankfully, I have a WONDERFUL hairdresser at a local salon who treats me super well. I think that’s half the damn battle…. finding a good hairdresser.

Any hair cut horror stories? Inspirational stories? Did you cut your hair and love it or hate it? Comment below!!

Things I Love Thursdays | Days Off

This is a serious cop-out. I have nothing this week. I’ve been doing accounting homework like it’s no one’s business, had a finance class tonight (he didn’t cancel and it was “optional” as long as we could get to campus). Saturday marks my FIRST full day off since August 3. Praise the lord.

 

Anyway, my mind has been stretched to its limit…

So, I’m going to link you to some of my favorite places that are not listed under “check these out.” You are welcome for those, and also to be alleviated of my brain-fried ranting 🙂

mckayla is not impressed.

 

Compliments, anyone?

Ski Free!

Text from dog

Reminds me of summer in New York.

My generation astounds me.

That probably equals out to about as much as I would have written. Enjoy, and comment some of your favorite sites to surf when you’re bored!

Things I Love Thursdays | Hilarious Twitter Accounts

I seem to be really, really terrible at keeping this updated… thank goodness for Things I Love Thursdays or we may never see anything up here. I promise to be better about this once training and opening procedures have come to an end.

 

Twitter is (as we all know) a popular social networking site. It has taken me quite awhile to get into updating Twitter occasionally, if at all. I will admit that the main reason I check it at all is for my fellow hall directors, Lord Voldemort and Shit Nobody Says… and the occasional Walt Disney World  update (YAY for the new projection show at Magic Kingdom this November!)

Under my “Check These Out” page, you will also find a link to Suri’s Burn Book (she is also on Twitter).

I appreciate Twitter account users (is there an official name for them? Tweeters? Twitterers?) who are able to incorporate humor into 140 characters.

 

I “follow” a fair number of celebrities… Sara Bareilles and Blake Shelton/Miranda Lambert are regularly posting things that are somewhat amusing… and then there’s Kristin Chenoweth who only posts every few days, but will post at least 7-15 times within five minutes. Really, Kristin? Really? Anyway, half of the things she tweets sound really crazy… so I’m not entirely sure if she has someone crazy working for her or is just plain crazy herself. Either one seems plausible (though I will not discount the fact that she was a PHENOMENAL Glinda… and Pushing Daisies/ GCB were both brilliant).

I’m not entirely sure why one would even post this. I almost care less about Kristin Chenoweth being on her iPad settings than I would for someone who I am actually friends with.

 

This is a bit off topic, but one of my FAVORITE blogs (and for those of you who have seen the “_____ ALL THE THINGS!” memes will understand), Hyperbole and a Half has kind of crapped out (you will notice I linked you to one of my favorite blog entries). It seems that she has some personal things going on, so my heart goes out to her. I hope she gets the oomph to post again soon.

 

 

Do you have any favorite Twitter accounts you check regularly? Facebook pages? LinkedIn? Tumblr? Google+? (haha… just kidding about Google+. That was an epic Google fail. They should just stick to search/shopping/maps/docs/reader/etc. ;)).

Things I Love Thursdays | Moving to New Places

I have a lot of difficulty staying in one place for too long. I have moved more times in my life within a short period of time than one person should. Since graduating from High School, here is the timeline of moves I have made:

 

August 2005 – Webster to residence hall space at SUNY Brockport

December 2005 – Moved down the hall because of roommate conflict.

May 2006 – Moved back to Webster at the end of the semester

February 2007 – Moved to Orlando, Florida; Disney College Program housing (HOLLA at Vista Way!)

May 2007 – Moved to new DCP program housing location

August 2007 – Moved to University of Tampa, Brevard Hall

January 2008  – Moved to Vaughn Center as a Resident Assistant

May 2008 – Stored belongings for summer, drove back to Webster.

August 2008 – Drove back to Tampa, FL, moved into ResCom residence hall as a Resident Assistant

January 2009 – Student Head Resident (building supervisor) steps down, I am promoted and move to the Head Resident space in ResCom residence hall

May 2009 – Move to Vaughn Center as Summer Head Resident

July 2009 – Due to unforeseen circumstances, move back to Webster.

December 2010 – Move to Orlando, FL

March 2011 – Move to new apartment in Orlando, FL

August 2011 – move to Tampa, FL for a new job (but keep some stuff in Orlando) into one bedroom.

October 2011 – TERRIBLE BREAKUP! Move the rest of stuff out of Orlando to Melbourne, then eventually Melbourne to Tampa (thank God for wonderful friends)

January 2012 – Move to two-room suite-style space (bigger!).

August 2012 – Move to new location within same building, because someone else is moving into this space…… SUNDAY.

 

 

So, here we are in August 2012, and I am moving. I might be moving again in a few months. Being someone who enjoys new places and whatnot, I’m ok with moving. I’ve just about become an expert, which is why I’m not terribly concerned that I need to be completely moved out of this space by Saturday evening. Unfortunately, I have managed to accumulate a lot of miscellaneous crap within a short amount of time. So instead of my apartment looking relatively barren, it looks like this:

Books. Shoes. Clothes. STUFF. I don’t need all of this stuff. I’m like a hoarder-in-training. I have made some progress and have a pile of things I’m going to donate before the move. Also, let me clarify: if this looks a little like a hotel room, it is. I supervise the overflow facility for the university I work at, which also happens to be a hotel. Honestly, not the worst living situation ever– pool in the building, housekeeping twice a week, fitness center, utilities included, etc. The plus side is, they’re in the process of building a room that has a kitchenette with a stove top (rather than only a large refrigerator and a microwave, coffee maker, toaster… which is the most, appliance-wise, I’ve had for the last year). The room I’m potentially moving in after is the “penthouse” suite that is also in the process of being built. This is mainly because I think it’s going to be fun to live like I’m a high roller, even if it’s only for a few months…. because when I am eventually in a live-out position, I will likely not live in anything nearly as accommodating as what I have now 🙂

I love where I’m living now (city-wise) but can feel myself wanting something new. I think I’m going to need to purge out my apartment before I do anything drastic. When I moved to Orlando, I received endless comments from my roommate Ryan (who is one of my closest friends) about how my car is so tiny and I had to bring all of my shoes. I don’t think there are that many, and I’m still not really sure why he is surprised that I have the number of shoes that I do. This is my car:

Sophie is adorable, but is only slightly more spacious than she appears. Though, she has been a trooper on the numerous trips we’ve taken back and forth from Florida to New York on the Amtrak Auto-Train. That is something else I love, and has been a lifesaver. Thank goodness for the snow birds who hop a ride back and forth from the north east!

 

Are you someone who relocates a lot? Tips on moving? Tips on being a minimalist? Please share!

Things I Love Thursdays | Animal Adoption

If anyone knows me, they know I’m a die-hard animal lover. I am obsessed with giant dogs, volunteer at an animal shelter less than 5 miles from my apartment and this past March, I was the advisor for a student trip to Tennessee to volunteer with the Horse Creek Wildlife Sanctuary and Animal Refuge.  I try to focus the majority of money and time I donate to charity on animal rescue (the remainder goes to Denim Day and Relay for Life… and to that awesome kid who built an arcade out of cardboard boxes).

Anyway, when I visited Horse Creek last year, I FELL IN LOVE with Nate…

Nate looks like your average yellow lab… big brown eyes, sweet disposition. If I was allowed to have a dog in my apartment, there would have been an extra passenger in the van on the way home from Tennessee. The thing that made me love Nate even more was that he was likely mixed with a basset hound. Those ears look a little big, yes?

LOOK AT THOSE TEENY LEGS!!! Oh goodness, falling in love all over again. I vowed that if Nate was still available if/when I moved somewhere that allows pets, I would trek back to Tennessee and bring my boy home. Sadly, (but not really!) Nate was adopted this weekend along with another wonderful dog from Horse Creek. Nate is such a sweet boy and I’m so happy he found a good home.


I don’t volunteer at the ASPCA shelter here as often as I would like, but plan to kick it up a notch in the upcoming year. The plus side to Horse Creek is that it’s strictly a no-kill shelter. They only house about 25 dogs there, but each animal remains with Horse Creek and receives proper medical attention/veterinary care weekly for the duration of his/her life. Only when it gets to a point where keeping the animal alive is more cruel than putting him down is there any talk of euthanasia… which is a natural process with many loving pet-owners.

For now, I will just enjoy my bear when I visit my family up north:

Note to self: if you take up kayaking recreationally, get a better life jacket so your neck doesn’t disappear.

Favorite animals? Have a good adoption story to share? Tell me about it!

Things I Love Thursdays | Lush Cosmetics

T.I.L.T.! I feel like there should be a day of the week to celebrate my favorite things! Like Oprah, only there won’t be any free giveaways. But anyway, let’s carry on…

This past weekend, LUSH Cosmetics launched their “Emotional Brilliance” collection. Essentially, they have several new eyeliners, liquid lipsticks, liquid eyeshadow, etc. in colors named by emotion. They had a “color game” where one chooses a color on a wheel, based purely on which three stand out first. The “emotions” my mind chose were Ambition, Calm and Feeling Secure (very accurate!). After the color game, my friend Ciarra and I tested the different eyeliners, eyeshadows and lipsticks. You can play the same “emotional” color choice game here. Since I’m so fair-skinned, bright colors look absolutely crazy on me, but I ended up bringing home some Motivation (but not enough to sit down and study rather than watch too many episodes of Lost– maybe I should have brought home two bottles).

I have a love/hate relationship with Lush. I love their products, but I hate that I practically go broke every time I go in there (serious exaggeration, but my wallet would sincerely appreciate it if I just stayed away).

LUSH masks are also absolutely amazing. I have been using Cosmetic Warrior— I don’t love the way it smells, but it does wonderful things for my skin. Catastrophe Cosmetic is another favorite, and I picked up Cupcake over the weekend. I would make other recommendations, but my best suggestion would be to read the descriptions and decide which of these is best for your skin type.

The environmentality of Lush is also a plus– bring in five plastic containers (either from masks, body wash/scrubs, etc.) and you get a free mask. All of their products are natural/organic, and a majority of them are “vegan-safe.” I am not even close to a vegan, but appreciate the non-animal testing, all-natural, tree-hugger mindset of the Lush corporation.

The Mary Kay consultant in me is cringing at the fact that I’m blatently promoting other skin care products, (and I 100% believe in MK products, or I wouldn’t share them :)) but I believe the Lush is a whole other brand/product and I love it.

Do you have any favorite skin care products? Any other Lush-lovers out there? Feel free to comment below!