Five Things Friday

1. My favorite thing to smell outside is fresh cut grass, especially when it’s warm and sunny, and I’m driving with the windows down. It reminds me of summer in New York (whether it’s February or May– in Florida), and summer is my favorite.

2. Today my lunch was not that great, but the desert was some Oreo cookie brownie cake nonsense with vanilla ice cream, and I could have had 10.

3. Iron Man 3 is out in theaters, and I am SO excited to go see it.

4. I need to move again in less than 2 weeks and the only thing I’ve packed are my books (and dvd’s!).

5. This

Happy Friday 🙂

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.

Five Things Friday

So, I guess I lied to you all back in January when I thought I was back. It’s all…. part of the illusion? Anyway, I really am going to try to be better about posting regularly and going back to normal posts in addition to Things I Love Thursday’s… and let’s welcome Five Things Friday. For these, I will post a list of five miscellaneous things, sometimes I’ll explain, sometimes… what you see is what you get 🙂

 

Thought Catalog (@ThoughtCatalog on Twitter) is something that regularly pops up on my feed, and although there are sometimes an overwhelming amount of updates… here are a small handful (five!) of entries I enjoy:

 

  1. Don’t Compare Yourself to Anyone — always good to reiterate 🙂
  2. What Happens When You Make Yourself Vulnerable — something that I have struggled with and have been working on. When I read this entry, Kovie Biakolo spoke to me.
  3. I Cried During the National Anthem of a Hockey Game — in light of the recent events of the Boston Marathon tragedy, this is something that is really, really awesome to see. 
  4. 23 Ways to Show Someone You Love Them — some of these are also applicable to general close friendships… always good to make sure the people you care about feel appreciated. I know the majority of things on the list would make me feel loved 🙂 
  5. What Actually Happens in Women’s Bathrooms — truth.

 

 

Happy Friday, All 🙂

I’m Back!

Oh, goodness. It has been a longggg while! Things started to get crazy with classes, and then closing… holidays… travel… work… and here we are.

 

Since my last post, I have successfully completed a second semester of the MBA program, decided that business is NOT my thing (and suffering through two to three more years of accounting, finance and statistics is not worth it– even if the degree is free), started running regularly to train for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February… among other things.

 

I have been getting up early to work out, which unfortunately makes me want to crash at 8:15 on a Friday night. I am an old lady– no shame!

 

I will be better about posting– promise! 🙂

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 :)).

From City to Country

So, I’m not sure if it’s all of the Nicholas Sparks books-turned-movies I’ve been watching or if it’s because I’ve really been enjoying holing up on the weekends, but eventually I want to live in North Carolina on a chunk of land in a house that looks like this:

And I will probably adopt a southern accent and have horses and a whole bunch of dogs, and people won’t think I’m crazy because it will be ranch-like… except with a non-ranch home.

So, if we completely disregard the fact that I love warm weather all year round, I love the city, the closest I get to a southern accent is saying, “y’all,” and I’m practically terrified of horses… I think this is a pretty good dream!

Realistically though, after I get my MBA and spend several potential more years in the University system (which I LOVE), I would really like to go back and work at Disney for awhile, travel the world, and then retire on farmland and open a camp? or sanctuary? for therapy animals (horses, dogs, etc.) for senior citizens and children with disabilities. That’s the dream.

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… Sundays | Making Up for a Recent Cop-Out

I thought I should make up for the fact that I totally bombed writing a post on Thursday… I hope this is not foreshadowing for my semester 🙂

 

Tonight, I will talk about how much I love my new space, especially the *kitchen* feature. I have spent the majority of the weekend working on things, in addition to unpacking my apartment almost to completion. With just a couple of boxes left to transport into storage, my space is finally spacious and comfortable. In addition, I try to use my stove-top in any capacity possible.

The first thing I made was Macaroni & Cheese (don’t worry, it was the grown-up kind).

 

I didn’t realize just how much I missed having a stove-top until 12:30 this morning when I wanted an egg and cheese sandwich on a bagel– just because I could. This afternoon I made a box of spaghetti I’ve had on hand for quite awhile. Realistically, I could have made those things in the microwave (I tried microwaving an egg, and it ended up looking like a yellow Peep… and it tasted pretty funky).

 

I got this book in college, and have yet to use it. Maybe it would have been helpful, but the majority of things in the book are terribly unhealthy and I’d be better off with waffles and Lean Pockets. But now, there are so many possibilities!

 

 

One of my favorite things I used to make was parmesan-crusted chicken, rice and a veggie (brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc.). Now that I have a convection microwave (works like an oven!), I hope to have many more meals like that.

 

 

This is one of my favorite recipes– I follow it almost exactly, minus the cloves of garlic (I can’t handle emitting smells of garlic for the remainder of the evening).

 

 

 

Yum. What a terrible thing to be craving at 10pm.

 

My friend Jess at Curating Style posted a sweet corn risotto recipe that I am dying to try. Be prepared for upcoming posts about all of the new and exciting things I can make in my kitchen!

 

 

Any favorite stove-top recipes? Please share! I’ve heard mixed reviews about convection microwaves, so let’s stick with stove-top for now!

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!