Archive | March, 2010

Pancakes

31 Mar

sometimes life is just not simple. 

I have realized this as I have gotten older and through the joys of the blogging world.  Although the stories are different people are struggling daily and we really should take more time to breathe, reflect, enjoy, and at times just sit.  I think about this when I read stories like this, or this, or even this. I am touched and forever changed.  I have learned to enjoy a run in the sunshine, a stroll through a park, holding my husband’s hand, really tasting a great meal, and taking a road trip up to the mountains for fresh air.  I was always one of those people who needed to be moving. moving moving moving. always on the go.  never stopping.  I think the big part is that I knew if I stopped then I would have to feel.  Nowadays, I am learning the beauty of feeling and stopping and enjoying life a little more because life is not simple.     

 which brings me to pancakes. 

I can’t really describe how this week went since it is only Wednesday, but the start has been pretty intense.  It was completely fast-paced and I knew that it really wasn’t about to stop.  The week is when you don’t just want to press “snooze” on the alarm but wishing it had a fast forward button.  I have dealt with leaks in our apartment, having to reject people, judicial sanctions, worrying about an upcoming surgery in the family, deciding on Easter plans, snipped at my husband on multiple occasions, searching for an old camera, dealing with a sensitive case on campus, working late, printing, labeling, stuffing, phone-a-thoning, and really anything else you want to squeeze in the week.   there has been no reflecting, giving thanks, enjoying and certainly no sitting down

until my husband shoved me in chair this morning even though I was running a bit late and made me pancakes.  even buttered my pancakes. 

and so I finally sat.

finally looked out a window, thought for a moment, kissed my husband

finally ate that delicious pancake one bite at a time

and realized that this will soon pass too

and life again will become simple again. 

We all need a little pancake love at some point in our lives.  today was my day. Bring on April.

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Novice Runner Part VII

30 Mar

Now that spring is on the verge of bringing us continuously nice weather up here in New England I had my first outdoor run a couple weekends ago.  The weather could not be more beautiful-breezy and mid-60s with sunshine.  It was perfect weather to have a great run and I found a 2 mile loop with sidewalks the entire way and a pretty flat surface.  Since I started running in November all of my runs have been indoors either on a track or treadmill so running outside was very new for me. 

{certainly not me running..but lovely picture}

Some things I have learned during the process of getting outside for a run…

  • terrain is uneven outside and so you need to be more concious of your surroundings than on a treadmill
  • there isn’t a set pace outside and so you need to set the pace and push yourself while on a treadmill you have the ability to increase/decrease speed with a button
  • about a 1% incline on a treadmill is the equivalent of running outside so try to increase your incline to prepare for outside
  • have a tracker to find out the pace you are doing and the mileage.  I use my Iphone gps running application but there is also the Nike +shoe and other online trackers you can use
  • running outside is harder on your knees because a treadmill has cushion on the bottom and so if you have trouble with knee injuries staying inside might be easier
  • make sure you are wearing proper gear because inside the temperature is regulated, but outside wind, heat, rain, etc can all become factors
  • if you are running outside in the dark make sure you are wearing proper equipment and have a running buddy–can’t be too careful
  • getting use to people staring at you while you are running takes a couple minutes okay okay i lie you never really get use to it but you just learn to zone it out

Some items I would like to get to run outside…

Reflective Gear {$10.00}: With less daylight running time, you need gear that makes you visible to drivers or other runners for off road trails. Firefly bands are quite simply, the best reflective bands available. The Firefly Ankle is constructed with neon yellow elastic and a super-reflective 3M Scotchlite reflective stripe. The unique closure system allows the 3M reflective material to wrap around your entire wrist or ankle – an awesome 360 degrees of visibility.

Airdrive Headphones {$60.00}: If you love to listen to your favorite playlist while you run then these earphones are definitely a must have. Most headsets drown out all external noise, but these earphones sit just outside the opening of your ear, so you can hear your music and also are aware of outside noises. They are also waterproof and can take all the sweat you can dish out. {they also have iphon headphones that I am dying to get for $69.99}

Timex Ironman Bodylink {300}:  A huge investment with the running–but also very ideal to start to track heart rate and it isn’t so complex that you can’t use it! If you can’t be bothered to read a user manual, this is the watch for you. It’s a snap to use from the moment you strap it on, with several modes showing heart-rate info, speed, distance, and more, at a glance. The catch? It lacks many of the advanced training features available in the other watches–but for a beginner like me the more simple the watch the better!

Some things that I am still trying to figure out is how to carry water when running outside.  At the moment I have only done a 2 mile stretch outside, but as I increase the distance I am going to want a drink of water.  I also need to keep my key and ID in order to get back into my apartment–at the moment I have put them in my armband strap, but there is a hole at the bottom so I am always concerned I am going to lose the key.  The first time I ran I was slower outside, but I think there was a couple of issues with the first run that I had.  One being I didn’t have a set path prior to running so I was cautious as if I was going left or right and what was after the next bend–now that I know exactly where I am going I will run faster, I wasn’t use to the wind resistance outside and so that will take a couple times to get my body adjusted to the different environment, and I wasn’t pushing myself and out for more of a leisurely run. 

Overall I have enjoyed running outside and I am excited to try it out again and start to experience running outdoors more now the weather is getting nice! Anyone have any running outdoor tips/tricks they want to share? Any online applications to track your running? Any products that you love when running outside?

Happy Spring & Happy Running!

H&M Garden Collection

29 Mar

Last week the H&M Garden Collection made its way to stores around the nation! I am very excited to have this collection out because I only have two more months to pick up a few items for Las Vegas.  As a girl on a budget the money to buy clothes for our vacation will be coming out of our monthly clothing expense budget, which doesn’t leave me with a ton of money to spend.  I am hoping that I can pick up a few pieces that I can not only wear in Las Vegas, but also at my job.  The goal is to get two fancy going out on the town dresses, laid back dresses, shorts, and a couple accessories.  Las Vegas and my job are complete opposites but I am hoping that I can outfits fit both needs! Looking at the Garden Collection at H&M gives me the hope I was looking for in order to pull this off with some pretty amazing items at a really great price. 

Here are a few of the items I am hopping to buy next month…don’t they just scream spring??!!

 

{$29.99 }

{skirt $29.95 & top 12.95 }

{top $24.95 shorts $29.95 }

{$19.95 }

{tunic $9.95 shorts $24.95 hat $9.95 }

{17.95}

{all dresses $17.95}

{dress  $39.95 and shirt $24.95}

 

Happy Spring & Happy Shopping!

Friday Goodness…

26 Mar

3 days in a weekend

3 different dates with besties

i am blessed to have such great friends

life is good

 

 

 

WINE-O!

26 Mar

So my husband is obsessed with wines and one of the reasons we were out in California was for him to get a Master’s in the Wine Business….ummm drink wine for a master’s?? I AM IN!So since we moved back East and that dream was dashed  I figured I still wanted my husband to feel part of the wine world.  For Christmas I decided to get him a Wine Making Kit and after speaking to my BFF’s husband about what I really should be looking for I purchased this baby for him at Northern Brewer Company…the Basic Starter Kit with Glass Carboys.

 

 

{Basic Kit w/Glass Carboy}

I really had NO CLUE what I was buying and what I needed to get him so my BFF’s hubby was a great help in figuring out exactly what he needed to start out.  I went with glass carboys rather than plastic and my husband is really thankful because the clean up is really helpful.  I purchased a carboy handle and put it in his stocking because it didn’t come with the basci kit but it would be very useful when it came to moving the heavy carboy.   We put a limit on our Christmas gifts this year and so this and a Wine Magazine was all I could afford so I recruited his family in buying him a Wine Kit to actually make the wine.  You can’t buy someone the kit but no ingredients to actually make the wine…that is just cruel!

{carboy handle}

I knew he wanted to make Pinot Noir and so his family for Christmas purchased him his first wine ingredient kit: Vitners Reserve Pinot Noir. 

{yummy wine to be made}

This was a great project that his dad and him did throughout the months after Christmas.  It was great we started off with a kit because it gave you detailed instructions on what to do each and every step.   His dad would come up for a hockey game and then afterwards they would do a step in the process.  Overall I believe it took my husband about 3 months but at times he was hesitant to make a wrong move and so he waited until his dad could come up just so that there were another pair of eyes on the process.  Now that he has done the process once entirely through he is more confident with the process and we are excited about the next wine we will be making a Peach Chardonnay for ME!

We also had to go to Jasper’s Home Brew and Winery in Nashua, NH to purchase the bottles, our next wine kit and also an electric wine whisker to make stirring the excess oxygen out of the wine.  They were extremely helpful and I feel that any local small business store is really there to not only sell you products, but also provide you advice as you move along in the process of wine-making.  All of the times that my husband has gone to this store they have been extremely helpful in the purchasing the right equipment and giving him much needed advice.  We will be definately shopping there for our next batch of wine!

Here are some pictures from this weekend of the last part of the process: bottling the wine! 

{sterlizing the bottles}

{drying the bottles–we need a bottle tree badly!}

{trying to submerge the corks to get them wet–pretty hilarious process!}

{testing out the cork equipment}

{6 gallons of wine ready to be bottled!}

{using the “wine theif” to siphon the wine}

{our first bottle–being bottled!}

{corking our first bottle–our “muffin top” bottle…oops!}

{taking a stab at bottling–don’t mind the vday fleecy pants didn’t want nice clothes to get ruined!}

{bottles upon bottles of homemade wine!}

{family event of wine making! thanks self timer for this photo!}

{putting the fancy labels on our wine!}

{so proud of you! first wine all ready to drink!}

This was a great investement and a great gift for my husband and I know that we will be using it plenty of times in the near future.  It is an investement to start to create wine.  Overall it was about $250.00 to make our first wine {made 29 3/4 bottles! which is about $8.50 a bottle}, but now that we have all of the basic neccesities it will just get cheaper and easier to make a large quanity of wine.  Some of the items on my hubby’s wish list after his first batch is a bottle tree to help dry the bottles, a better corking system, and of course more corks.

On to our next adventure…Orchard Breezin’ Mist Peach Chardonnay for the sumertime

Boston Trip Review & No Regrets

25 Mar

Before I get into our Boston trip I wanted to say that besides it being a really fun experience to just hop on a train and enjoy Boston it was also very eye opening as well.  Let’s rewind a year when we were about to get married I was also in the hunt for a new job, my husband was applying for grad school and since my new job would entail moving we were also in the midst of packing.  all in the same month.  seriously not the best idea we have ever had, but we figured we could juggle it all and still keep our sanity. ummmm yea right.  One day after 3 rejection phone calls I came home deflated and basically stated to my husband well you got into Sonoma State University we should follow your dream and just head out to California….lets just take a leap of faith and a risk and move out to California.  After some moments of really? should we?? We basically decided that we were going to pack up and move to California and after the wedding I had a California interview anway and so our mentality was WE CAN DO THIS! 

Fast foward 3 days and my boss at my institution told me that one of my interviews at a Boston institution that I was really really interested in was really interested in hiring me and although I made the decision to move out to California did I want to reconsider? Well earlier that month that same person had an inside scoop in the deparment and stated that the RDs really loved me but I didn’t impress the upper administration.  I was uber bummed so hearing that they wanted me made me wonder…was I sloppy seconds? Did they really want me or was I their last choice? And helloooo we are moving to California so ultimately I said no thanks.  We got married and headed out to big bad state of California!  Well saying no has been my biggest regret after this whole debacle even though I loved every minute of California {until we were broke and I was crying on Sara’s bed telling her we were leaving of course} and my husband and I have great jobs and we are stable so I really shouldn’t be having regrets–but I do and I have wondered this entire year…what if I told that Boston instiution…YES!! TAKE ME!!  Where would we be now?

So why this long long story in the middle of a Boston review you might ask?? Well during this trip I realized that it wasn’t a regret to not accept that Boston trip because I am happy not to be living in Boston.  I do love me some Boston, but I am glad to be visiting it rather than living in it and for me that was the best part of this weekend!   I have realized how expensive Boston is and we would really be living it up in Boston and really not saving the money we want to be doing for our next step in our lives.  The price of living in Boston is unbelievable and just spending a few hours in the city made me realize that I am happy living in a smaller city with less expenses.  Not having this regret has taken a huge weight off of my shoulders and now I don’t have to wonder and think about all the “what ifs” and really just enjoy my life and leave that decision in the past and be thankful for where we are now. Big revelations in one weekend!

Soooo now onto the review of Boston!!!

We got onto the train {$27.00 round trip for both of us} and relaxed since my husband worked during the day and talked a bit.  We love taking the trip and not having to deal with the traffic and the parking.  Once we got off the train I realized I needed to purchase some womanly items {$4.00} and then we were off to the Theatre District…YAY!  We had to take the T station a few times that day so we each purchased a Charlie Card in order to take the subway with ease {$10.00 each person}–one trip on the subway is $2.00 each person.

We arrived in the middle of Boston Commons one of my favorite places in Boston with a huge park and we were able to take a stroll, watch the little kiddies and the little doggies.  It was 70 degrees out and so everyone was out playing frisbee and soccer and having picnics.  It was a great atmosphere.  We sat on a park bench and really just enjoyed the people watching and the sights! one of the best parts of the entire trip {and it was FREE!}

So after we strolled for a bit longer until we started to get hungry.  We headed in the direction of Charles Playhouse for the show we were seeing later in the evening.  We ended up going to Rock Bottom since we were both in the mood for a cold beer.   We went to a chain so that it could be a little cheaper since we spent a good amount of money on the show.  I actually tried my first turkey burger EVER and it was delicious although it can’t compare to a “real burger” for sure.  I could definately tell the difference but the flavor was great and it was a good first experience.  We had a couple cold beers and really were having a great time until I decided that I wanted to have carrot cake for dessert.  I should have taken a picture of the carrot cake but seriously it was almost a 1/2 a cake {two layers!}.  It was unbelievable and we obviously didn’t finish it but my tummy started to grumble a bit and was starting to get uncomfortable.  We got a ginger ale at the bar for me and watched a bit of the March Madness on the TV but I was feeling ill and thought walking and fresh air would help.  {all together $44.10 total} 

As we were walking we stopped at another Seven Eleven {because really we stalked 7-11 on this trip!} and bought some medicine to help my stomach {$3.00}.  I immediately started to feel better and just in time to go see the main event and the reason why we were in Boston in the first place! BLUE MAN GROUP!!! OH MY GOSH SOOOOO GOOOD!!!! Seriously my husband and I both say it is the best show we have seen in a really really long time.  We saw it at the Charles Playhouse in Boston and the theater was really small and quaint and we were in the 5th row in the center and it was so amazing.  I thought it was all musical and that they played on the drums the entire time with paint and although they do this–it is for maybe a quarter of the show.  It is a comedy act and it is HILARIOUS! I was peeing my pants after the first 5 seconds. SO GOOD.  really I can’t rave about it enough and the tickets were definately worth every penny.  A little note though–don’t be late because what they do to late people is beyond embarrassing but extremely funny for the audience.  The entire show was about 90 minutes and the ending was fabulous–I could have watched longer.  If you have a chance to watch this show–please do because you will not regret it.  Some people say it can be really loud but I didn’t find it to be super loud and my ears were not ringing at the end of it.  It also might be a different show if you are seeing it in a larger arena–having it be so intimate made the show that much better and being close up to really see their facial expressions was AWESOME.   I could go on and on but really the best show! {tickets $160.00}

We then met up with some friends near Hynes Convention Center that were in town for a conference.  We also wanted to get some updates about March Madness so we were very pleased to find that the place had TVs.  There was an event happening for the conference on the bottom level of the bar, which was called LIR {on Bolyston Street}, so we snuck down to meet everyone there and it was fabulous! The bar was super swank, TVs and enough seating for people to relax. {also the place I found out Kansas had lost and my bracket was BUSTED!}  The top part had a huge bar as well and some seating and when it is nice out they open the window to have the fresh air coming in.  I would definately go to this bar again because it was a fun establishment and like any other city the drinks were pricey. { 4 beers plus tip $26.00}. 

After some good times we headed back to make the last train out of the city that night and of course we arrived wayyy to early so we had some McD’s french fries to soak up some of the alcohol that we had that night {french fries $4.00}.  We headed back home and I fell asleep on my husband’s shoulder.  We both agreed we had a fabulous spontaneous Saturday trip but it will be great to be in our own beds for the night! We also agreed that Boston can be very expensive and we are grateful that we can visit but not live there because we can’t afford to spend $26.00 dollars on 4 beers! We will stick to our local brewery $2.50 beers. HAHA. 

So if you weren’t keeping track this is how much we spent in an 8 hour span in Boston….GRAND TOTAL: $278.10 {of course not every time we go into Boston we see a show but it still can be expensive for a low key night}

moral of the story is a spontaneous trip into the city can be costly yet extremely fun…and every decision you make in life is for a reason. don’t second guess it.

I run to you…

24 Mar

I saw this band Lady Antebellum on Oprah and they were just adorable, cute and the sorta new country I prefer to listen to during the day while I work.  I immediately got hooked on this song and it actually makes me think of love and doing right by the world all at the same time.   Hope this helps you get through the second part of the week!

Some of the lovely lyrics…

I run my life
Or is it running me
Run from my past
I run too fast
Or too slow it seems
When lies become the truth
That’s when I run to you