Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blog Girl Returns

Sooooo........what can I say? It's been a while.

I started this blog as a way to participate in the blogging community that has really spurred my path to fitness and happiness in the past year and a half. Everyone makes it look so easy, with their consistent and content-full two and three posts a day, complete with fantastic photos and witty writing.

The thing is, blogging is FAR from easy, as I'm sure you all know. For some reason, I was unaware of this. Coupled with the stress of being a college grad without a life plan, blogging took a back seat to lots of other things, and my lack of confidence in my abilities as a writer and a blogger really haven't helped things.

That being said, I'm ready to start over, and see if blogging is something I can find joy in.

Now first things first - a lot has changed since I last graced these virtual pages. I applied and was accepted to the Masters of Public Administration program at the University of Vermont (YAY!), and last week I moved up to Burlington to stay with my aunt and uncle while I get on my feet. And yesterday I found a place to live! One of the girls I interned with a couple of summers ago was looking to rent a room in her house, and I'm moving in this weekend! Now all I need is a job (ugh).

So what spurred my return to blogging? A lovely lady by the name of Alex (who coincidentally went to the same wonderful university in Ontario I did!) has tagged me as a 'stylish blogger' (not sure if I really measure up to that title, but I'll take it), and as a recipient of this award I will now do the following (sort of):

1. Make a post and link back to the person who awarded this to me.
2. Share 7 things about myself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers. (confession - I'm a bit of a blogger loner so I'm going to do my best with this, but my apologies for not having 15 blog buddies!)
4. Contact these bloggers to tell them they’ve won!

Here goes!

(1) I'm a klutz. I know a lot of people claim to be clumsy, but I have elevated tripping and falling to more of an art-form. Here's an example: for the past FOUR years, I have taken a significant digger on my birthday. It's become a sort of tradition for me, and although alcohol has assuredly played a role, we've crossed the line from coincidence to curse.
19th birthday - on a beautiful snowy night in Kingston, my feet flew out from under me in the middle of an intersection and I ended up sprawled flat on the ground while my friends doubled over in laughter. They're nice girls, I promise
20th birthday - walking home from a party, while literally in the middle of a discussion of the previous year's fall, I slipped on a sheet of ice and took my best friend down with me. My elbow got the brunt of this one - my friend forgave me before my body did
21st birthday - fell down a flight of stairs. In the middle of a lecture hall. I would say I was embarrassed, but I'm pretty sure I laughed harder than anyone else. Which is embarrassing in its own way.
22nd birthday - took a trip with my buddies to Ottawa to skate on the canal. I should have seen it coming. Suffice it to say I looked like I was wearing really dark colored knee pads for the next week or so.
My 23rd birthday is March 16th, so stay tuned for what klutzy shenanigans I can get myself into.

(2) I'm addicted to shows about addiction. I have a feeling a show will be created addressing this in the near future, and if so, I should be in the first episode. Celebrity Rehab, Intervention, you name it I have it on my DVR. I also have a fierce crush on Dr. Drew. My best friend and I used to watch marathons of celebrity rehab in college and just drool over him. But enough of that...

(3) I guess this technically goes under number one, but I have 30 stitches on my chin from when I fell off my bike when I was seven. Fell might not be the right word, more like flew over the handlebars and landed square on my chin. My dad was roller blading next to me, and when he tried to catch me he almost broke his leg. He's a klutz too, that must be where I got it from. That and my abnormally large head, which is a story for another day.

(4) I'm a book hoarder. At home in Connecticut there is a wonderful independent book store downtown, and anytime I am within 100 yards of the place I buy at least two books. Which means I have about 10 books to read. One of my new years resolutions was not to buy any books until I finish the ones I have. So far I've succeeded, but I just discovered a really cute bookstore in Burlington......to be continued. I don't know what it is about books, but I just can't resist. And I will NEVER buy a Kindle. So much of my love of reading comes from the tangible experience of holding a book, fingering the pages....oh boy.

(5) I look forward to winter for the accessories. Hats, scarves, boots, and mittens give me an immense amount of pleasure. For this reason alone I don't know if I could ever live in a warmer climate.

(6) I clean all the dishes before I eat, with few to no exceptions. Ever since I was little I have HATED doing dishes, and if they aren't out of the way before I eat I can't fully enjoy my meal knowing they're hanging over my head. More than once, I have had to reheat dinner once everything was clean...oops.

(7) Jeff Bridges is my perfect man.

(BONUS) I LOVE LOVE LOVE Masterpiece Classics. The most recent series, Downton Abbey, was fabulous - give me an 18th, 19th, or early 20th century drama with British accents, witty servants, and amazing clothes and I won't move until it's over.

This hereby concludes my reentrance into the blog world. Regularly schedule posting will resume presently.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Grad School Gripes

All I can say today is grad school better be worth all the stress it's causing me! My day off consisted of hardcore emailing to professors and former employers for recommendations and various grad school administrative offices for the millions of questions I need answered before I can get all my ducks in a row for applications. I also am in the middle of writing my own recommendation for my internship boss, which seemed awesome in theory but is becoming a pain in my butt. On top of all of that, I am about three weeks away from writing the GRE, and I know I should be more prepared than I am at this point. I guess I can look forward to a few weeks of reading comprehension, analogies, vocab lists, quantitative comparisons, and so much more! Lucky me!

In less annoying news, I had a great time stocking up on treats at the grocery store today! I think my joy at buying produce is best understood by fellow healthy living bloggers!

Included are: sweet potatoes, broccoli, a lemon, kiwi, a big fat red bell pepper, some organic apples, avocado, a carton of strawberries, a couple squash, and a huge bag of cherries (SPLURGE, but worth every penny).

I got to thinking today about how far I have come this past year in terms of healthy living. I used to almost bypass the produce section completely, but now it's my favorite place to be! Experimenting with healthy, whole foods has absolutely changed my life in every way. I'm happier, healthier, my skin is clearer, my hair is shinier, and I'm having so much fun!

Another thing that makes my life more fun is watching trashy shows like Jersey Shore and the Real Housewives of New Jersey. I know, I know......but I also listen to NPR and watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann and the Rachel Maddow Show religiously, so I'm just going to call it even. Anyway, I saw this glass at TJ Maxx yesterday and couldn't help but take a picture - doesn't this look like it belongs in Pauly D or The Situation's cabinet? Oh boy, I need to get to bed.

Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Might Be Insane

Phew! It felt great to get out of work today - one of the girls got sick so I sent her home and was alone in the coffee shop for two hours...not fun at all. I'm not going to lie, the past couple of weeks have been pretty stressful for a number of reasons not worth getting into right now. I'm in the middle of trying to figure out some pretty big stuff in terms of school and my future, and it's taking an emotional toll. Needless to say, a run was exactly what I needed this afternoon!

I did an easy 3.5 miles after work, and already feel a million times better. I did an unplugged run, which means no Garmin, no iPod, just me and my thoughts. I really need to do these runs more often - they're therapeutic and HELPFUL! When my mind wanders it's surprisingly productive - I think I'm able to get into the nooks and crannies of my brain much better when all I'm focusing on is my breathing.

This afternoon, I did something I've been wanting to do for months now - I ordered Insanity! Running, biking, and my workout DVDs are great and make me happy everyday, but I'm ready for a CHALLENGE! I figure now is the perfect time for me to devote an ocean of sweat to this program - no school and morning shifts mean I am currently in possession of something I haven't had in years - TIME! I literally just clicked the order button, and I can't wait to get it!

Wish me luck! I'm sure I will be documenting my progress on the blog. Time for a green monster!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Seeing Stars

To say that today was interesting is a bit of an understatement.

About two weeks ago, the strap on my ancient bike helmet gave way and I wouldn't let myself ride until I got a new one (torture!) Well yesterday, I FINALLY succeeded at Target (I have a humongous head and hardly any helmets fit me well) so today was supposed to be my triumphant return to hardcore biker girl status. Except, totally not. Here's what happened:

I woke up this morning with a headache and a bit of nausea, but instead of listening to my body I chocked it up to the wear and tear of the past couple of weeks and threw myself onto the bike anyway. I figured once I was out on the road I'd be riding high. 10 miles on the agenda, and I got through the first five alright, until I stopped to look at some beautiful wildflowers and almost passed out.

You guys, I am not a fainter. There are actually two times in my life that I have passed out, both having to do with heatstroke. The first time was when I was about six, on the handlebars at my aunt and uncle's house, and the second time was after a brutal horseback riding session on the hottest day of summer. Suffice to say, when I get woozy SOMETHING IS WRONG.

I knew there was NO WAY I could ride the 4.5 miles home safely, so I sat down under a tree, called my stepdad to pick me up, and just tried to stay calm. Luckily, he showed up quickly, and with a couple glasses of water, a banana, and a shower, I felt better pretty fast.

I have learned some pretty valuable lessons though.

(1) LISTEN TO MY BODY. I knew I wasn't feeling well, but I didn't consult with myself before working out. Big mistake. I should have either abbreviated my ride or ditched it altogether. I will definitely be more in tune with myself in the future.

(2) PROPERLY FUEL. I wasn't hydrated enough before my bike ride, and I really think dehydration played a role. I am trying to drink more water in general, but clearly I haven't been doing as well as I could be. I have been peeing like a racehorse today with all the water I've been drinking since my ride, so future water intake is looking good for moi.

(3) HAVE A CELLPHONE. I am so happy that I always have my phone with me if I run or ride, because it matters. If I didn't have my phone with me, I would have been stranded five miles from home for who knows how long. I told my stepdad what I was doing and where I was going, but he was headed off on his bike too (on a different route). It would have just been bad news all around. I will never leave my phone at home again. SO important!

Anyway, that's it for my big rant. I spent this afternoon taking it easy and watching Up, which is probably the cutest movie in the history of the world. So not a wasted day overall I guess. Nighty night bloggies! I am planning on a nice wedding/beach photo post tomorrow after work. Wahoo!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Crazy Life

So, a couple of things have been going on since my last post. I'll break it down for you guys:

(1) I've been hanging out with my extended family (my mom is one of SEVEN) at our cottage in RI for the past two weeks, and the internet wasn't invited.

(2) On August 1st, my mom got married! Wahoo! It was beautiful, and so much fun!! I'm going to do a post soon with pictures, since it was too gorgeous not to share.

(3) Last weekend I was in NYC for a nice visit with my dad, who was in town for a couple of days. He took my brother and I to a Yankees/Red Sox game! I'm a Boston fan, but holy moly did they not play well. No worries though, it was so much fun!

The past two weeks have been some of the most fun and exhausting of my life. Luckily, I have today and tomorrow off to FINALLY rest and get myself organized again. Although I wish I was still at the beach! I miss my family terribly - though I think the fact that I have to work and study for my GREs and apply to grad school might be a factor in that.

I'm off to run a million errands, and then I have a nice bike ride on the schedule and some great photos to look though. Bye for now!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Good evenin bloggies! I've been MIA for a couple of days, but I have an explanation! All my aunts and uncles and cousins arrived on Saturday at our family's cottage in Rhode Island and I scooted up there as soon and for as long as possible because my family ROCKS! I managed to score three days of sun, burgers, cards, wiffleball, cocktails, bug bites, and awesome times before heading home last night. I have to work for a couple days so I'm stuck here, but I'm back up to the cottage for a whole week after my Mom's wedding on SUNDAY! I can't believe it's so close!

Anyway, we don't have internet at the cottage, and to be honest, even if we did I wouldn't use it. There's something about family cottage time that makes surfing the internet just seem wrong - I have a big family and we only all get together for two weeks a year, so I want them all to myself!

I always worry about how I will maintain my fitness and healthy diet at the cottage, where ease and indulgence seem to win out over health. I'm lucky to have a pretty active and health conscious family, but I'm still tempted to sleep in and get that extra scoop of ice cream down in Watch Hill. My aunt is super fit and healthy, thankfully, so we usually try to motivate each other to run and hold back from completely losing control. Although I left my Garmin at home, we went for a couple of really nice long runs while I was up there, and I definitely reigned in my eating more than I have in past years. I find that on vacations it's good to go in with reasonable expectations - I knew I was going to indulge here and there, but I didn't want to throw away days on end to unhealthy eating and no exercise. It seems to have worked too - a successful trip all around!

Today after work I went for a nice bike ride - 15 miles in about an hour and fifteen minutes. It felt awesome to get on the bike again, and I picked a gorgeous route that ended down at one of our state beaches. I sat by the water before heading home and thought about how lucky I am to be happy, healthy, fit, and looking forward to a promising future. Endorphin induced or not, I'm living a pretty charmed life, and it's nice to think about it every once in a while!

I'm off to bed before work at 6 tomorrow, and I may or may not head back up to the cottage for the night. I am aching to get back to the beach again - my skin is going through sun withdrawal! I also want to finish up In Defense of Food - it's so eye opening! I already feel like my attitude towards food has dramatically changed. More on that later! Goodnight! xoxo

Friday, July 23, 2010

Preparing for Craziness

Happy Friday everyone! I have an unexpected day off today - so many possibilities!

I am happy to say that I'm back on track after my fitness frustration over the weekend. My 4 mile run the other day really gave me the boost I needed! Yesterday I went for a GREAT 3 mile run - the weather was much drier, absolutely gorgeous and breezy. PERFECT!

Mile 1 - 9:00
Mile 2 - 9:31
Mile 3 - 10:15

Although I love love love my Garmin, I think I have to adjust the way I use it a bit. I got it a couple of weeks ago and it has absolutely changed the way I run. It's so helpful to have all my stats on my wrist, and I definitely feel in tune with my workouts in a way I wasn't able to be before. However, I am also noticing that I've been running too fast initially, and towards the end of my runs I am huffing and puffing like a crazy person and petering out. I want to go back to finishing strong, so I think I'm going to need to cool it for my first mile or so. It's so hard to slow down when I see I'm keeping an awesome pace, but at this point it's too hard for me to maintain.

In other news, my mom is getting married in a week! I am so excited for her, and it's going to be so much fun! My mom is one of seven kids, and every year all my aunts and uncles and cousins rent a cottage in Rhode Island where they grew up. It's the most fun two weeks of the year - we are at the beach pretty much from 9-5, then we all grill, play wiffleball and cards, and drink all night. And the fun starts tomorrow! Well, I have to work on Sunday morning, so I'm heading up that afternoon and staying through Tuesday, and then after the wedding next Sunday I'm spending the week there. I also have a work party to go to - it's the 25th anniversary of the company I work for. Needless to say, it's going to be a CRAZY couple of weeks! I can't wait!

Now I've got to figure out what to do with all this free time! I got paid today, so I may head over to the outlet mall a town over to drool over fitness clothes. What can I say, I'm addicted!

Hope everyone has a good day!