Thursday, December 30, 2010

I need a break…

Those are the exact words I stated to my friend Missy regarding my exercise regime. And boy did that come back to bite me in the a$$! I stated that because I felt slightly overwhelmed with work, the holiday and trying to keep my training up for a full marathon (my first).  Well, from my mouth to God’s hears because I got that break. I may not have actually meant it, but I got it. With Christmas and the Snowmagedon the gym was already closed for three days (a lot of time in my training especially given that I took the weekend off previously when visiting Ryan’s family) but to add to that break was what came next. I got SICK! Yup, I got sick as a dog. We’re talking sore throat, coughing, running nose, whole body is achy sick. I was that way since the Monday after Christmas till the first week of January and it wasn't fun. So I did not exercised for SEVEN days and really didn't go full speed for two weeks after that. I told Ryan I have not NOT exercised in seven days since January 2010-after I ran the Disney Half Marathon & was on vacation.
I really am concerned with what this break will do to my training schedule. Running a full marathon was already scary enough, but not that I’ve had three weeks without my long runs plus a fourth week with my Key West vacation... I don’t know what to do! I was on track running 11 miles when I stopped, but that’s still not even half of the 26.2 mile race! Given that I was sick and my desire to not overwork myself, I have been taking it easy on the running (b/c I couldn't breathe) so I'm not sure how much I could run right now!
I’ve already researched other full marathons in the area and I am not sure of another one I can do. I really don’t want to travel too far for a race because it gets quiet expensive. HELP! This whole thing got started with my 30 Before 30 List when I put do a full marathon and ideally I’d like to, I’m just not sure about the huge undertaking it’ll be on my body and my time.
Maybe I should rethink the 30 before 30 goal...thoughts anyone?


So in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a blog vacation. There is really only one reason I can atrribute my absense to…and that would be WORK! It has been so super crazy at work that I haven’t gotten to catch my breath. I think I worked an excess of 7 hours one week because of all the madness!
So here’s the low down for the gap of my posts…
Ryan’s dad moved to Maryland! They actually didn’t get the house I posted previously, but they got a nice house on the same stretch of road. Its actually a fairly decent size and I can picture us spending a lot of time there. We went up to help them move in one weekend. Poor Ryan had to lift all sorts of heavy furniture with his dad. Bailey came with us and took up residence in the bay window. Ryan’s mom put a blanket up there for him to have a nice little bed. Wish I took a picture of him sunbathing himself! But we’re totally excited about them being nearby.
Absolutely amazing! Had an awesome time. My father-in-law came into town since he’s living in Marlyand now. It has been years since we’ve had a Christmas with him. So it was really nice to spend the holiday with him and my family. We did Christmas Eve and Christmas Day brunch at our house. Had some amazing food that both Ryan and I prepared such as Jimmy Dean sausage roll and a cheesy hashbrown dish. For Christmas dinner I cooked for the first time a sweet potatoe casserole as well as a peppermint cheesecake. Ryan made a delicious lionberry lamb for the main dish (he’s such an awesome chef!). 
Everyone seemed really happy and surprised about the gifts we got them. I created a gift certificate for my dad to play soccer this spring & crinkled cash in the box to surround the gift certificate. My mom got a Color Me Mine gift certificate, which is a place to paint pottery. I thought that’d be a fun experience for her and I to do. I was super excited for Ryan’s gift. I got him a cooking class gift certificate. The wonderful people at Young Chefs Academy allowed me to get him a gift certificate for an adult cooking class next year. Ryan can choose which class to attend and a professional chef will show us how to prepare the meal! J He was pretty excited & surprised about that. And he surprised me as well! I got a pack of 10 pearl braclets in a variety of colors. I absolutely LOVE them!
Okay, that word I didn’t actually make up. The weather man called the recent blizzard we had the ‘snowmagedon’ & I just took it from him. But that’s what we had here in Hampton Roads! A crazy snow storm like no other. I cannot believe we got 13+ inches of snow over Christmas weekend. Everything was shut down for two days!! I spent an hour the other morning trying to get the driveway cleared up and snow off of our cars to be able to drive to the store. As my father-in-law left he said ‘you guys should really think about investing in a snow shovel..’ Great advice NOW! LOL. And besides, it’s not like we get this kind of snow EVER! I mean seriously, this was insane.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Personal DIY Ugly Holiday Sweater

Hello there! Here is my DIY story…
I have to be honest; I’ve never done an ugly sweater before. I know several people who have, but have never created one myself. But that’s all about to change!
Do you have an Ugly Holiday Sweater party to go to? If so, you’re in luck! As a newbie, I’ll go through a few steps to help make your Ugly Holiday Sweater hideous this year.
First off, you’re going to need some supplies. Go to your local craft store or even the dollar store and stock up on the necessities such as glue, fabric pens, puff balls, paint, paint brushes, glitter, bells and of course a plain sweater. I bought two sweaters as I was doing this craft with a friend.
Once you get a good supply going, start brainstorming ideas on what you want your sweater to look like. You can have a game plan, such as winter wonderland or you can just go with the flow!
The start of an ugly sweater

Lets add some holiday items

Oh! This is looking good...but what else?

Yup! Plaid. That does it beautifully! :)
As you can see from the photos, I’ve cut out various images for my holiday sweater such as a Christmas tree and gingerbread men. Then I decided to go crazy with bells, caz who wouldn’t LOVE a holiday sweater that jingles! Then to add a little glam to my sweater, I used silver and red paint which really “jazzes” up the tacky vibe! Adds just the right touch…don’t you agree?
So there you have it, a few tips to help you decorate your ugly holiday sweater this season. Remember; if it seems too much…keep going! The point with these parties is to have an atrocious sweater. So the more you do to it, the better!

Here I am ROCKIN' the Ugly Christmas Sweater!!
If you attempt a DIY Ugly Holiday Sweater, then enter the competition that has going on. You have a chance to win $500!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

EEK! I’m Sabotaging Myself

I read this article yesterday morning, Sabotaging My Own Weight Loss; it’s a part of a series of Ashley Wisneiwski’s journey to weight loss. This particular article highlights the constant battle that I think a lot of women, me included, have: the “ups” and “downs” of our weight loss strategy. There will be days and weeks where I do extremely well on my “diet” (use that term loosely), but then there are times that I just throw caution to the wind and say “screw it!” I know as I’m committing these “diet” sins that it’s bad, I also realize that I’m going to regret it the next day. But somehow I rationalize it with the fact I’ve done so well on my eating plan, or ran 5 miles that day or just flat out had a tough day. Whatever the reason, I take a nose dive into sabotaging my eating plan and hate myself for it the next day.
Friends of mine joke me because after having a treat I feel the need to go exercise it off. Somehow compensating for the fact I’ve been bad. But it never makes me feel better; I just sit in a big pot of stew of regret. In Ashley’s story, her husband was the influence that made her realize she was doing this to herself. I have known all along that my mindset is not conducive, but I’m not sure how to change it. Like I said, I’ll do really well for a couple weeks and then BAM; all at once I’m back on the old eating pattern. Don’t get me wrong, my previous eating habits are not terrible. They don’t consist of eating out daily or anything like that, but they still aren’t ideal.
There are a few vices that I have, I really love Chinese food. I could eat it every day! I also enjoy all treats: cookies, candies, chocolate, pies, cakes, cheesecake, etc. They are every bit of their name TREATS! J I also enjoy wine. Craving these items isn’t necessarily a problem unless you’re diabetic or an alcoholic but my issue is moderation. I’ve told someone this before, I do not have that trigger that’s supposed to alarm you when you are full or have had enough. I just keep enjoying! That is when I need someone to say, ‘hey you’re sabotaging yourself!’
I felt relief when I read Ashley’s post because it made me feel like I wasn’t alone. It’s somewhat comforting to know that. So if there is anyone else out there reading this that identifies with our pain, please know that you too are not alone. I’m not sure the remedy that can fix the sabotage, but maybe the support of knowing others go through it too will help! Especially during the holidays…

Friday, December 3, 2010

25 Reasons Why I LOVE the Grinch

The Grinch is a wonderful classic Christmas movie. It’s one that is near and dear to mine & my husband’s heart. I love the original but think the Jim Carrey version is great as well; whereas, Ryan is an advocate of the original only. We even purchase Grinch ornaments from Hallmark every year in celebration of the story we love so much. Eventually we’ll need to get another tree just for those ornaments (total of 10 so far)!
So here are the 25 reasons why I LOVE the Grinch movie:
1.       The narrator’s, Boris Karloff, voice telling the story.
2.       The rhyme of the story “Every Who Down In Who-Ville Like Christmas a lot... But The Grinch, Who lived just North of Who-ville, Did NOT!”
3.       The fact that when the Grinch is on television means Christmas is right around the corner! My favorite time of year!!
4.       The mischievous smile the Grinch makes (depicted by Jim Carrey beautifully).
5.       The drawings of Dr. Seuss for the original Grinch.
6.       The song You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch-awesome song!
7.       I love Cindy-Lou-Who’s innocence and curiosity of the Grinch.
8.       All the awesome Grinch d├ęcor to buy at the holidays, like our beloved ornaments from Hallmark!
9.       The humor and pure outlook of the story. Brings me back to childhood.
10.   I truly do love Faith Hill’s version of Where Are Your Christmas song. I could listen to it over and over again!
11.   The fact that Ryan and I have it in common.
12.   The funny names for everything, like “superfluous,” “Subzero Chillibrator” or “kerbabbled.”
13.   That loyal dog! Who could not LOVE Max!!
14.   The vivid colors used in both movies.
15.   The town of Whoville. Such an imaginative place.
16.   From the Jim Carrey version, the romantic love affair of Martha May Who and the Grinch. Such an interesting pair!
17.   All the Who’s hair styles. They are crazy and cool at the same time! I wonder how much gel and hairspray had to be used to keep it in place.
18.   Cindy Lou Who’s family! They are just too adorable. J
19.   The lovely green color the Grinch is.
20.   It’s one of the few Christmas movies that don’t focus on consumerism.
21.   It’s a delightful fantasy away from the realities of the world.
22.   The lesson of Cindy Lou Who and the Grinch. People can change; you just have to have faith.
23.   The warm feeling that I get when watching it!
24.   The overwhelmingly happy demeanor of the Whos in Whoville. Even after the Grinch took their Christmas presents. We should all aspire to that attitude.
25.   And finally, I just love Dr. Seuss! I think he is totally awesome!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

The day for giving thanks, spending quality time with family and feasting on yummy food is here!! To prepare for the excess food I'll be stuffing my face with, I did 4+ miles which will kick off the day with an extra bounce in my step (which could very well be a pulled muscle or cramp...LOL). After that, I did a solid hour of cleaning as I will be hosting Thanksgiving at my place this year and cooking! I'm very excited to have my parents over for dinner. It'll be nice for all of us to be together. To finish off the lovely dinner, I'm looking forward to eating my delicious pies (cran-raspberry and pumpkin cheesecake). :) YUM!

Tradition with my family is going around the dinner table and saying what you're grateful for. In addition to telling my family, I'll also tell the world. I am thankful for so many reasons this year. I am thankful for my husband, Ryan, who brings joy to my life each and every day. I am thankful for my dog Bailey who takes the good and the bad of everyone and still wants to be near you no matter what your 'baggage' may be. I am thankful for my and Ryan's family for all they have done to raise, support and teach us to be caring & honest people. I am thankful for my friends who are simply amazing people who challenge me to be a better person each day of knowing them. I am thankful for my job and thankful for my home. I am thankful for my health and thankful for LIFE!

With each passing day I take note that life is short and you've got to live it to its fullest. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today!  Have a happy & safe Thanksgiving! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday Shopping

Bring on the Black Friday DEALS!!
So I am PUMPED about Black Friday!! This year I have decided that since we're financially able to, I want to get those closest to us amazing gifts. I know I purchase awesome gifts regularly (not to brag) but I really want to dazzle this year! Its true the holiday season is not about the gifts, but I want to see surprised and gleaming faces on those nearest to us. I want to produce excitement and happiness in our family & friends; and since that's a tall order, I'm going to need a little help from the Black Friday sales ads!!

This Friday will mark the fourth year in a row that I've woken up or just not gone to bed to get in line for some deals. I can recall one year waiting in line at Best Buy at 2am to get a television for my mom & dad. Then there was one year when we tried to go to the outlet malls in Williamsburg, but that did not end up working out. So instead, Ryan and I ventured to Target at 4am to wait for 2+ hours till they opened up. A LOT of hot chocolate (b/c I cannot stand coffee) was drank that morning!!  So yup, this year I think its going to be another late night or early morning. I can't wait to get the paper and develop a plan of attack on which retailers we should visit. I believe it's going to be a family affair too, which should make it even more fun!

While this may seem crazy to some, please know that I will walk away from a great deal if I feel my safety is in jeopardy! I cannot believe the lengths some will go to for a great deal, but I do have my standards. Nothing is worth getting trampled on!! If I can't find or get what I want on Black Friday, I'll just wait till Cyber Monday. But I'll update my blog with the steals I get as well as any horror stories I encounter!!

Happy Shopping! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

Not sure if the holiday season just hit me, but I have been in a terrific mood this week! I want to shout my happiness from the roof tops!!! I feel extremely blessed with the direction things are moving in my life and I feel great things are in store for those around me.

I am grateful for everything in my life. I have a wonderful husband who I thank God every day for, I have a loving family who drives me nuts A LOT but I LOVE and I have great friends who add so much humor and excitement to my life. I am very thankful for everything and everyone in my life. God has brought many opportunities to me this year and I hope to fulfill all that is wished of me.

But in addition to my good fortune, I see great things on the horizon for those around me. There are many people in my life who have good hearts, are passionate and hard working individuals and I feel great things are or about to be happening for them. And seeing others happy & it makes me happy! I like to focus on the positive things happening and I believe this holiday season has many miracles in store.

This week is Thanksgiving. And on that day I will once again be proclaiming my gratefulness of the wonderful things in my life, but tonight I want to share a bit of wisdom for those who feel like things may not be going as planned for them. This is a poem I keep running into and it holds a lot of power; it reminds me of why I can't be negative. Like the Law of Attraction states, we have the power to help create our own realities. And I believe in the power of positive thinking...

Don't Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will
When the road your trudging seems all up hill
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh
When care is keeping you down a bit,
Rest-if you must, but don't you quit!

Life is queer with its twist and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
it seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up.
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out.
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you can never tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worse you mustn't quit!

I'm wishing you a happy and positive holiday season. Here's to a bright and beautiful 2011! :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Healthy Eating Plan

I’d prefer not to call it a “diet” because I’m going to try and not restrict myself from guilty pleasure (i.e. treats). But I’ve been traveling a little bit these last few weeks; which, as everyone knows, leads you to eat a lot more given all the “new” things you want to try. My biggest vice around the holidays are seasonal things. Like pumpkin and peppermint flavored chocolates, candies, ice cream, hot chocolate and other delectable items. However, since I know this time is coming up I have devised a plan (nothing new or original) to help me counteract the destructive and OH SO GOOD-treats! (Caz let’s be honest, simply not having them is NOT an option! Lol)
So here it goes…I’m going to eat healthy, fresh and, where possible, organic foods. I’ve been on this eating plan for a week and I’m already feelin the effects on my body. I have been eating items that is low in fat, low calories and low sodium (sodium is an important thing to check). Not very easy for someone who’s frugal like myself; grocery shopping took me nearly 2 hours. For breakfast I have been having a Nutrigrain bar or other granola bar along with a banana (extremely unusual for me, but that’s another story), for lunch I make this wrap concoction that I created (recipe later on), low fat fig newtons or fresh fruit and as a snack dark chocolate covered almonds in 100 calorie packs-seriously awesome. For dinners I have tried to keep in mind the health factor also. Having a lot of greens, salad or other fresh veggies and even when I go out to eat I consulted the nutrition guide online to make sure I wasn’t going over my goal.
How do I incorporate my treat? I include a small helping with fruit. For example, I have small cups of raspberries, blackberries with fat free whipped cream and I chopped up a miniature snickers bard into crumbles and garnish it. It’s very delicious, light and satisfying for my sweet craving. For seasonal treats I hope to be able to do the same, by incorporating smaller portions and add fruit. So this healthy eating plan is going to be around for awhile, may cost extra at the grocery store checkout but it’ll be worth it so I won’t have that extra weight weighing on my shoulders! Lol

Here’s the wrap recipe I was mentioning before, totally LOVE it:
I whole wheat flat bread, tortilla or pita (100 calories)
2 tablespoons of reduced fat hummus (I use Roasted Red Pepper) 70 calories
Spinach (as much as you want) 20 calories
Reduced fat Feta Cheese ¼ cup 55 calories
Banana Peppers-about five 2 calories
Turkey Pepperoni-about 8 slices 35 calories
*I like to add a little bit of yellow mustard for flavor, but you can add a little salad dressing/vinaigrette for additional flavor*  
Total: under 300 calories
You can add as much veggies as you want to this wrap!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Due Date Review

So I’m not sure if it’s because I’m married to Zach Galifianakis or what, but I LOVE Due Date. (The whole thing about being married to Zach Galifianakis is partly true. My husband, prior to shaving his beard, resembled him. In fact, that was an idea we had for his Halloween costume). But seriously, Due Date is a hilarious movie. Robert Downey Jr. plays a serious Peter Highman who is forced to hitch a ride with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) on a road trip in order to make it to his child’s birth on time.
The comical play off the serious Downey and the funny Galifianakis will have you rolling out of your seat with laughter. Phrases like “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself” or “Dad... You were like a father to me” along with Downey spitting in the dogs face just gives you a glimpse of the humor you’re dealing with.
Well, you tell me what you think…have you seen the movie? Would you give it a high score in the must see category?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Maryland House Hunting

This past weekend Ryan and I traveled to just outside Washington D.C. area, on the Maryland side, to help his parents pick out a place.
They currently live in the mid-west and are relocating back to the east coast (thankfully because the 6 hour drive to visit them is a bit much)! Anywho, we visited a couple houses for rent in the Frederick, Gaithersburg, Rockville area of Marlyand which is where my FIL need to be located for his job.
The first two places we saw were nice, a bit out dated though, but nice little homes. Both had appeal but weren’t the size or layout they wanted. The third and final place we visited was AWESOME! As soon as we drove up to the driveway I was like Jiminey Crickets. The home is a lovely old farmhouse (see photo).

The inside of the home spoke to its age but also to the character and charm of an old farm house. I was truly in love with it. Ryan, however, was a different story. He is a city boy who hates rural places, so this home didn’t speak to the accommodations he would want. But I adored the almost 2,000 square feet, four bedroom, two and a half baths home with the open layout and lots of natural light in every room. True to an older home, it needed some updating to attract a modern family, but for a rental you’d be hard press to find something with as many ‘pluses’ as this home. A bonus is that is has an interesting story! It used to be, quite some time ago, a school for boys. The agent told us that when we were walking through and its apparent with the fluorescent lighting in some rooms, a mud room with a very long coat rack to hang book bags and coats, the doors to show “off-limits” areas and the separate quarters for the master suite.

The out dated kitchen

Could use work but HUGE space!

Open floor plan from dinning room to living room

Lots of built in storage!

Ryan and I outside the home

Beautiful grand staircase at front of the home.

Gorgeous chandlier

More built in storage, original to the house.

The mudd room, example of how many boys it use to house!

I’m pretty excited to go up there and visit on the weekend. Its only a four hour drive and with the ample space it’ll be very comfortable staying there. I’m already envisioning Thanksgiving and Christmas there with both our families; the beautiful white snow on the ground overlooking the 22 acres of park behind the home.
Lovely, simply lovely…

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NOLA Adventures

It’s been about a week since I left New Orleans. I’m getting settled back into my usual routine of work and home life. I wrote previously that I hoped the trip would allow me to get to know my new co-workers and I’m happy to report that it did. They truly are a great bunch! Here are just a few characters I got to know and love.
The first individual (no names) is who I’d like the call the “crazy” one. This guy was the most interesting person I’ve met in a long time. His overly flamboyant personality kept me laughing the whole weekend. Even on the first day when we just arrived to the hotel from the airport his desperate search for a hair salon because he needed to get his hair cut and products to style it for the tradeshow. It could have also been the HUGE luggage he was towing around with seventeen (that’s right 17) outfits picked out for the four day trip! Bet your bottom I complemented him on every single one of them. LOL But seriously, he’s a great guy; someone I really enjoyed getting to know.
The next chick (yes, I said chick) was a lot of fun to hang out with. I had met her briefly before, but really got to know better with this trip. Often when I don’t know someone well, I tend to do ’20 questions’ to try and pick up conversation and learn more about him/her. It helps avoid the awkward silence in a conversation, which I’m not a fan of.  Anywho, she is a really cool cat. A great dancing partner at The Beach off of Bourbon Street when I had a few glasses of wine! J Plus, she’s a real down to earth, honest person who I can see hanging out with in the future.
The last but certainly not the least was the one I deemed “running the show.” She helped orchestrate the entire event from start to finish. For seven entire days she was in New Orleans getting everything ready for the event, during the event and after the event. Through other projects I have worked with her a quite a bit, but I got to know her on a personal level through this trip. She is a really kind person and the ultimate task master. I spent a great deal of time with her including the best sushi meal I’ve ever had!! (see photo below)

So yup, my trip was pretty much awesome. I missed my husband and the puppy a bunch but really enjoyed going back to New Orleans and learning more about my new co-workers!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Orleans Trip

I find myself in New Orleans for the second time this year. Both trips were for work purposes. The first trip was to attend and work at the National Apartment Association Conference (NAA) for my previous job and now I am attending/working the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Conference & Expo.

My first trip was an absolute BLAST. Two really good friends (and co-workers) of mine attended as well, which made the work portion and "free" time a LOT of fun.

Its hard for me not to compare this trip to my previous one. Same location (even the same convention center) and it's for work purposes at a tradeshow/conference. There are plenty of good stories that came from the first trip, including Bourbon Street bars, Margarittaville and cab rides.  Everyone knows or has heard of Bourbon Street. I can tell you, everything you've heard is true! Bourbon Street is a unique place; don't get me wrong-had a great time-but there was women flashing their chests and lots of drunk people. Besides being a regular at Fat Catz Bar, one of my biggest memories of that place was when my friend, Amanda, stepped in a disgusting puddle. Did not smell or feel like water, that's for sure! (Eeek!) A bouncer at the bar next to the puddle offered to wash it off for her; however, in his generous state he decided to pick up my other friend Meredith, yes PICK her up, and carry her into the bar! He placed her right in the middle of an empty dance floor with us trickling behind. We quickly thanked him and left. Awkward! :) 

Anywho, seeing as this trip is with a different company and all new people, I'm hoping to get to know my co-workers a little better. So far the trip has been great! Really getting to know the crew that I'm working with and they are all super nice and very welcoming. :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mission: Bartowski

I am pleased to announce that I not only took this mission, but I received accommodations from my general! J
About a month ago my husband started a Netflix account.  With that account he started ordering DVDs of the television show Chuck.  We had never watched this show previously, so I’m not sure where his sudden interest in it came from, but we started watching it one disk at a time. Over a period of one week we were watching two disks (about 4 episodes per disk) and craved more CHUCK time. It became clear that we were required to purchase the season DVDs to watch it at the rate we needed. (You would think the word ‘needed’ seems a bit harsh, we don’t NEED to watch it at that pace; but let me tell you, I’m not kidding when I said we craved Chuck!) So we’ve gone through the first, second and indeed the third season of Chuck in just a few short weeks. The fourth season is now on as well as airing this fall on Monday nights 8:00pm EST. We have caught up to speed on all of the episodes and I must say….I am in LOVE!
Ryan has even nicknamed our Chihuahua-Bailey Bartowski!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Unknown Spin Injury

I am an avid “spinner.” I love to take spin classes at the local YMCA and do on regular bases. I have turned many friends onto the beloved hobby due to the extreme work-out in which the sweat resembles that of high intensity running. However, one MAJOR injury that many may not know about? Butt pain!
That’s right, you heard me correctly. If you are a regular in spin classes, at least once a week, then this injury will not happen as frequently (I guess your butt develops some sort of callus that exempts you from the pain). But if you take off a week or two, or like myself a couple months, you’ll be in a world of pain your first spin class back!
I went to my first spin class on Tuesday after a two month hiatus and let me tell you, my tuckus HURTS! Yesterday the pain was immense, especially when I went to sit down. But even today I feel stings of pain when I walk or do stairs. The seats themselves don’t look malicious but sit on them for 10 minutes and begin to feel the discomfort. I tried for the first 15 minutes of my class to situate differently to avoid the aches, but it simply wasn’t possible. Like I said, if you get into a routine the soreness seems to dissipate over time and you don’t feel it. However, take time off and BAM you’re right back to a tender tooshie!
Moral of my story? The unknown spin injury of butt pain is not enjoyable. So if you plan on partaking in this hobby, be sure to make it a regular habit. I plan on going next Tuesday!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Prank

I’m not really too big into the Halloween holiday. I don’t typically dress up or go to parties and I certainly don’t decorate the outside of my house. However, I do realize others (some close friends of mine) feel very different. Two years ago, some close friends of mine decorated the outside of their townhome on October 1st in anticipation for Halloween. I’m not sure how the idea came up, but some of us decided that it would be HILARIOUS if we “borrowed” their decorations. See, the people who’s outside decorations we were going to “borrow” worked overnight delivering papers (The Virginian-Pilot). And my house at the time happened to be on their route every morning. So to make this work, we needed to strategize.

It was three of us total who decided to pull off this prank. It was chilly and of course, raining that morning. We waited in our cars for our friends to leave on their route, around 5:10 am. We quickly went to their house and decided to pull down the decorations. We had a key so we were even able to pull down the decorations that we hanging inside their windows! It took probably a half an hour to remove them all. We then immediately went to my house and began hanging them back up again. Even as I recount this story I am smiling because of how sneaky I thought we were for doing this! I mean, who pulls a Halloween Prank? And best of all, we wouldn’t have to wait long for the shock on their faces. He he he :)

After we finished decorating my house with all the Halloween decorations we waited…and waited…and waited. It seems like forever, probably a total of eighty minutes. We could have taken our time, but in all the excitement we were working fast to avoid being caught prematurely! It was probably around 7:00am when they pulled into our court. We slouched down behind the bushes, hoping to avoid being seen.  One of my friends was recording the whole thing, us stealing (or “borrowing”) the decorations, hanging them back up again and of course the highlight-when they finally saw!

As they turn to go by our house they slowed down very sharply. Their windows were rolled down because that’s how they toss the papers out onto people’s yards. You can clearly hear them state “Are those our decorations?” We immediately start laughing and are so proud of our accomplishment that we jump out of the bushes and start moving towards them! They got out of the car and was in amazement at how we pulled it off. They had left their home not two hours ago with the decorations there and suddenly they were no longer.  We were instantly told to put the decorations back asap, by one sleepy and grouchy passenger, but we didn’t care. We pulled it off and got the reaction we had hoped for! :) Mwuahaha!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

30 Before 30 Update

It has been over three months since I originally wrote my 30 Before 30 List, on, and I would like to update everyone on a few items!
Number 2 on my list was mending broken relationships. While this particular relationship has not been completely mended, I am happy to report that everyone involved is working hard to improve communication & trust. This will hopefully (cross your fingers) go a long way to keeping the relationship strong for the future!
Number 3 on my list is about to have a first step. I have decided that I would like to complete my first FULL marathon sooner rather than later! I am looking into running the Shamrock Full Marathon in March 2011. I have not run more than 5 miles since I ran the Disney Half Marathon in January and I know I will need all the training I can get to double that! So wish me luck as I embark on a grueling training schedule to do 26.2 miles! (more to come on this in future blogs)
Number 5 on my list was something I am especially proud of. In August I took a new position to be the Marketing Manager. I am very excited to take on this new and challenging opportunity. I know that I am a very hard worker and I look forward to putting that hard work for my new company!
Number 16 was to visit all the wineries in Virginia (which is quite ambitious). I have not started on that just yet, but I have a plan. Throughout Virginia there are local wine festivals which sample various Virginia Wineries. It is my plan to attend these festivals, including on in Chesapeake, VA on October 30th. May not be attending all 156 winery locations, but definitely sampling their wine!
Number 22 was to take Bailey on a vacation with us. I am happy to report that July 4th weekend we took Bailey, our puppy of 5 years, on his first trip! We drove up to Indiana to visit family and took Bailey on the 16 hour car ride. I have to admit I thought it would be bad, given that Bailey has only rode in the car for a total of 4 hours; but he was fantastic. Slept the whole way and cuddled with his mama!

Number 26 I haven’t been able to convince my in-laws to move to Virginia, but they are moving significantly closer! My father-in-law has taken a job in Maryland and will only be 4.5 hours away. Soon my MIL and SIL will be joining him, and we are super excited! With the closer distance we’ll be able to see Ryan’s family once or twice a month; instead of once or twice a year!!
Number 27 has been completed. Purchased my Smartphone right before a business trip in June and absolutely LOVE it! I do not know what I would do without it, makes life so much easier!

There it is! My updates for my 30 Before 30 List in only 4 short months. Hopefully in the winter I will have been able to check off a few more! Thanks!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Runner gurl

As I get ready to tell a story, I feel the need to give some history prior to just jumping right in. Not sure if that’s the best way or not, but it helps myself process where or how I’ve gotten to that place today. So here it goes…

I’ve not always been a runner. Truth be told, I had no desire to run any amount of distance. I ran in the 5K Race for the Cure down at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront before, but never really considered myself a runner. Several years later I start meeting people that have participated in half marathons. The competitive side in me takes over and starts to drive the notion in my head that I can do it! So I sign up for my first half marathon. Thinking that itself was a huge feat, I have since signed up and completed two more half marathons; including one in Disney World which was AMAZING!

Getting to my point… On my 30 Before 30 List I made the goal of running in a FULL MARATHON! Everyone I know thinks I’m crazy for setting this goal. But regardless, it’s something I think is huge to accomplish in one’s life. Did you know less than 1% of Americans have completed a FULL MARATHON? I want to accomplish that. I swore up and down after my first two half marathons that a full marathon was not for me, and yet here I am taking that step. I’ve signed up for the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach on March 20, 2011 and have begun training. The difficult part for me is going to be the pressure. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself in general, especially for races. But what I need to realize is finishing is the ultimate goal.

This past weekend I ran 8+ miles. I’m comfortable that I can run 13 miles (after all I’ve done 3 ½ marathons) but I’m scared for the remaining miles. To help build my motivation and talk through my fears, I will be posting bi-weekly (if not weekly) updates and concerns about this race. Maybe posting it publically for all to see will help me along my journey.

In addition to my commitment on this blog, I’m also committing to various races to help ‘hype’ my excitement throughout the training process. Cause trust me, training in a gym for the next four months isn’t going to be all that exciting! :)

December 4th, 2010
Surf n Santa 10 Miler:

February 12, 2011
Virginia is for Lovers:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cuddle Monster

Reading this title you might think I’m talking about someone else, perhaps a child, a dog or even my husband. But I’m not. I’m talking about me. I am the BIGGEST cuddle monster!
I just love to cuddle. Not really sure what it is, but I love wrapping my arms around my husband and just laying on the couch watching TV. Or I love when my warm, furry Chihuahua cuddles with me in bed. It just epitomizes home, comfort and family time in my mind. That being said, not everyone feels the same way I do. Case in point-my husband!
Ryan is not a cuddle person. The small sliver of a chance I have for cuddles, is prior to him eating, not when he’s too warm, not when he’s “busy” doing something else and certainly NOT when he’s sleeping! A lesson I learn far too often… Given that I’m a HUGE cuddle monster, I tend to try and push the envelope for designated cuddle time. On many occasions that will be when Ryan is sleeping. I wake up a few times each night, for whatever reason, and I usually take the opportunity to snuggle closer to my honey. 
I’m not sure how it’s possible, but I think his subconscious actually knows what I’m trying to do; therefore, he reacts. I cannot count how many times I have gotten turned or pushed away, or worse an elbow to the face! I know he’s asleep when he’s doing it because I’ll recount the story to him in the morning and he has no recollection of it. But without fail, no matter how persistent I may be, cuddling him while he is asleep does NOT work. Now to be fair to my husband, there is another small window I am allowed to cuddle him. In fact, it’s some of the most treasured time I have with him. In the morning, after I’ve gone to the gym and showered, he will start to wake up. In his groggy state, I am able to lie in his arms and just relax. If it weren’t for both of us having to work, I know we would stay there for hours. It’s a surreal moment. 
And like a child, no matter how many times I’m told “no”, I will continue to push the boundaries. I mean, how can I not. I’m the CUDDLE MONSTER! :)