Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Few (caffeinated) Thoughts

Today my boss liked one of my ideas (I know it's true because she used an exclamation point in her email - WHAATT) so I celebrated by getting a tiny fancy coffee on the lunch break.

Delicious AND invigorating, I tell you.

I should do that everyday. The wonders that it works on my mind and energy are astonishing.

SO! To add to the pointless, rushed, and thrown-together blog post from yesterday - here are some very random, only slightly-caffeinated thoughts that are ping-ponging around my head at the moment. Enjoy!

one. I've been taking a cake-decorating class for the past few weeks and, while it's been loads of fun, I'm incredibly BAD at it. Next week is our final class and we'll have present a fully baked and decorated cake - so I'll be baking and decorating up a storm over the weekend to prep for it. My Mister could not be happier.

two. Despite my atrocious work with icing, I'm surprisingly decent at making roses. If all efforts fail next week, you can expect photos of a cake covered with roses and edible glitter. Because that's just what everyone looks for in a cake decorator, right? "Surprisingly decent" work?

three. I've been on a MAJOR Broadway music kick for the past three weeks or so. Particularly and really ONLY all things sung by the likes of Sutton Foster. From Shrek to Little Women and Anything Goes - it's all on my Spotify playlist at work. And I can't stop singing "Christopher Columbus -- I'll be astonishinnnng...ASTONISHIIIINNNNGGG!!!!" (via Little Women).

...And Thoroughly Modern Millie is on REPEAT in my car and no one can stop me! :)

Fun fact about me: I've kind of  been obsessed with musical theatre since I played an owl in our community theatre's AMAZING production of "Snow White" when I was 7 years old. I got GLOWING reviews, by the way. GLOWING. Snow White who? I mean, "HOOOO!"

four. If you're not a musical theatre fan: sadly, I am only kind of sorry for the previous note.

five. I read Mindy Kaling's book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" on the Fourth of July a few weeks ago and laughed harder than I have at any book in a long time. It's ridiculously relatable and a wonderful, lighthearted read. It also made me remember how badly I've always wanted to be a writer - whether in print or on TV, it just sounds exciting and challenging and fulfilling. The way she describes the creative process, the atmosphere in the "writers room" (oooohhh), and other aspects of the job - I couldn't put the book down and kept wanting to know more and more.

Side note:  Last year, Hubs and I met up with some friends for a teacher's retirement party. At the party, the teacher displayed work from lots of the students from each class, and wouldn't you know we found one of my projects from EIGHTH GRADE? The project was something about jobs and whatnot and what I wrote back then (as a chubby, awkward 13-year-old) kind of floored me. I wrote about wanting to work in film and TV; I wanted to "direct and produce and even write the scripts because I love to write" -- no kidding. Funny how some things never change ;) Aaah, dream jobs. There are SO MANY in my mind - ha!

six. I've been a terrible cook as of late. Lately our meals have consisted of "what can be thrown together the fastest and still taste decent" alongside frozen vegetables. I almost tried to pass off Jell-o as a meal one night but figured that might be taking things a LEEETLE too far. So what did we pair it with? Vegetables. I really don't remember the last time I cooked meat and our last few meals are kind of a blur in my mind. Tonight I'm planning to make Butter Chicken (as in, Indian Food YEAH!), but let's face it --- while it SOUNDS fancy, the sauce is pre-made and all I have to do is throw it on some cooked chicken. I'm pretty much failing at this wife thing. But, hey, at least our clothes are washed and clean! Right? Right? :p

seven. Last night I was grocery shopping and I guess God knew I needed a laugh because, as I was reaching for some Jamaican Jerk marinade - the BIGGEST FREAKIEST MOST GIANT GRASSHOPPER I HAVE EVER SEEN came out of NOWHERE and started wigging out that I moved the jar in front of him. I'm NOT proud of the fact that I, too, wigged out in the middle of the store. I mean, wouldn't you???? Look at this thing!!!! He was about the size of my whole hand!

UGH. I'm getting the creeps and shivers just looking at the thing again. AAH. #notabugfan

Happy Wednesday, friends - here's to a MUCH less weird post next time!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On Semi-Spontaneity

Happy Tuesday, folks!

Hope everyone's week is off to a fabulous start!

When was the last time you felt truly re-charged? For me, this weekend did just that. My recently-married sister (!!!!!) and her husband graciously hosted our family at their house in Alabama on Saturday, and just being able to reconnect with everyone (not to mention her awesome cooking) did a WORLD of good.

If you know me, you likely know that living here in The City and away from so many people and places really gets to me sometimes - so road trips are a MUST every now and then.

The drive was NOT bad at all - only a little over three hours (with THREE traffic jams -- THREE!) - so Hubs and I figured that, while we were away, we'd make a semi-spontaneous (because we only talked about it about 2 days before) mini-vacation out of it! WHOOP!

So - we drove a little over an hour further after lunch so that we could soak THIS in:

...along with a little of this:

and, obviously -- this (typical sunset photo - #sorryImnotsorry) !!!!

Just what the doctor ordered - right???? Pensacola, how I love thee.

Not to mention all the awesome beach food we had! We kicked off the vacation at Peg Leg Pete's  - where I ordered some delicious stuffed shrimp with steamed veggies and Hubs ordered some AMAZING oysters:

Saturday began with an incredible-as-always breakfast at my beloved Panera Bread - Oh City WHEN will you get one????? ;) I ordered the egg white + spinach sandwich (AMAZING) and Hubs had the strawberry oatmeal.

...And after a full day of BEACHIN' we made one last stop at Lulu's because OMGQUESO BURGERS:

'Nuff said, right?

And she's off! I'll be back soon with another cheesy-fun post!

Today's question:

What do you like to do to recharge and refresh?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Day That Was Not A Friday

So today I woke up and thought FOR SURE it was Friday.

And multiple times throughout the day I DEFINITELY thought it was Friday.

But it's Thursday. And that's okay :) Because until then I'll just continue to sit here and listen to Frozen (STILL).

Can't help it. I read an article where "Once Upon A Time" released the first photo of Elsa and Kristoph (???) and BOOM. In. My. Head.

I apologize to those of you who are now hearing at least one song from Frozen somewhere in the depths of your mind.

Happy Not Friday, party people!

It's funny what a difference a week can make - am I right? See, For the First Time in Forever, I've been hitting the gym consistently after work. I've been at this new job for about a month now and feel like I've finally got a decent routine now and can usually "fit in" what I absolutely need to during the day.

...I've also discovered that life is MUCH less complicated if I just pack my gym bag at night and bring it with me to work, that way I can go straight from work to the gym with little distraction in between.

Brilliant, right? Don't answer that.

And, although the weather has been a little iffy lately, we've been able to get outside and walk/run a little - and it just feels great. Because really, who doesn't love being outside In Summer?

My job is located in what USED to be a mall, only the stores have been replaced with tons of offices, departments and indoor walking areas - which actually is a great advantage since I can use my lunch break to take a walk without breaking a sweat from the outside heat. SCORE.

So walking at lunch = exercise at work = endorphins in the middle of the day. DOUBLE SCORE.

This also helps to get away and find relief from whatever may be freaking me out at the moment -- being the new person brings quite the learning curve. But -- thanks to these oh-so-lovely daily walks -- there comes a point in the middle of the day where I can just Let It Go and be one with the wind and sskyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!

Come on. You KNEW I had to go there.

You saw that coming.

But seriously.

I'm actually hoping (and thinkin'....and prayin....!) to get back to posting recipes soon. <--- GASP I'm actually trying a new recipe TONIGHT so who knows what the future will hold???? Just bear with me a little longer and these posts won't be so weird. It's just a bit of a Fixer Upper.

Okay okay -- I know I'm the only one laughing now. ;)

I know the three of you who sometimes halfway read this little blog of mine (<- THANK YOU) are rejoicing right now. I can hear your praises from here. It's okay. I don't mind it.

...or maybe it's just my coworkers from a few rows over because there's cake somewhere in the building.

Either way - Whoo hoo!

Have a fantastic Almost-Weekend everybody!

...and remember that tomorrow is NOT Saturday!!!!

((Me after a nice workout))

((only without the snow))

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday's Playlist

It's Monday!

One thing I'm loving today is the "Songs to Sing in the Shower" playlist on Spotify! It's definitely making the start of a new week a little more fun :)

Here are my picks for today -- some of them may make you flashback to fun times many moons ago!

  • Footloose - Kenny Loggins (<- How can you NOT dance?)
  • Bring it All Back - S Club 7 (IT'S S CLUB! S CLUB!!!!)
  • Wannabe - Spice Girls (reallyreallyreallywanna ZIGAZIGAAAAHH)
  • MMMBop - Hanson (<- Why, yes, I AM the one that's singing along in my cube here at work. #thatsme)
  • It's Not Unusual - Tom Jones (<- is ANYONE else breaking out into the Carlton here???)
  • Dreamlover - Mariah Carey (<-WHAT)
  • She's So High - Tal Bachman (<-flashback to my sister's birthday party -- sometime when I was in JR HIGH)
  • Kiss Me - Sixpence None the Richer (<- My Jr. High JAM. No joke!)
  • C'est la Vie - B*Witched (Anyone else see this on Disney Channel back in the day?)
  • I Want it that Way - Backstreet Boys (<- As an *N Sync fan I will not comment ;) )
  • Stayin' Alive - Bee Gees (HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH)
  • Livin' La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin (<- Jr. High memories once again)

Check it out if you can -- it'll really get you going!

What's your pump up music to start this week???

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Weekend Challenge

That's right -- two posts in ONE WEEK.


I'm jumpin' back in the bloggin' biz!

Can I say that? Too weird? Not for me.

What can I say? It's FRIDAY, folks! And Fridays are fun. Always. You know why? Oh, I'll tell you.

Jeans. It's Jean Day at work.

At a place where one must "dress professionally" at all times, I welcome the chance to wear flats and jeans. It makes getting ready in the morning so much faster and enjoyable.


My dream job would allow me to wear gym clothes (running shorts and yoga pants? Hey-oh!) or scrubs on a daily basis without having to do gross things like give people shots all day. I'm a wimp.

I've literally googled "medical jobs that don't involve blood" at one point in the not-so-long-ago past. Results didn't WOW me as planned, so therefore I must stick with what I know and KNOW that I do not need to deal with blood or insides every day.

For those of you that do, however, I salute you. And I'm not even kidding.


Thoughts for today:

I recently attended a meeting where the topic was "civility" in the workplace, and the subject quickly transitioned to civility in life in general. There were some really interesting points made - things like, when did become so acceptable to interact with people (friends and family, mainly) almost exclusively online rather than in person? Do people even call one another anymore, or is text and social media the norm?

What about meeting up in person and having an actual conversation? Are manners even a thing anymore?

Someone mentioned that the constant online activity is really affecting our ability to communicate, and we're slowly forgetting what it means to be civil or social. If you're unsure what I mean, take a look at any one article or story online. It could be a lighthearted, positive story, yet the comments section will be filled with negativity. It's hard for me to believe that this kind of activity won't flow into our everyday life.

We found the phrase "Each one influence one," which struck a chord with me. Every day, our actions affect not only ourselves, but those that we encounter throughout the day. An angry status update, a snarky comment to someone you love (guilty!), an annoyed tone while talking to the cashier - even small, seemingly insignificant things can have a large (negative) impact.

So today, I'm challenging YOU, invisible Internet friends!

Let's make an effort each day to do something positive - whether to someone or for someone. Maybe instead of giving in to the normal early morning grouchy mood (again, guilty!), maybe stand up and stretch and tell someone "good morning" with a smile. Let someone behind you at the grocery store with fewer items go ahead of you. Maybe NOT scream in frustration when a car cuts in front of you without a blinker (<-working on it). Be that person that people like to talk to - WANT to talk to - rather than someone others dread even asking a question.

Whatever the case may be, let's strive to be a better version of ourselves - I have a feeling life may be a tad bit easier to handle that way.

Happy Weekend, folks!


What is something positive that you can do this weekend?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Many Stages of Running a 5K

Happy Wednesday folks!!!

We're halfway through the week, and I'm so thankful that it looks like it's going pretty well so far. The new job is teaching me a lot, but I feel like I'm starting to adjust and settle in.

So we pretty much had the most low-key Fourth of July weekend ever - I'm not complaining! We've been running around a lot lately so it was nice to be able to have some down time...although I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a TEENY bit envious of all the beach and vacation picture I kept seeing! ;) With the new gig I can't take any vacation time for at least a couple of months - so I imagine come September/October we just might be leaving on a jet plane!!!! {First Anniversary - whoop whoop!)

The highlight of the weekend was Friday morning - after three years we were finally able to participate in our city's annual Fourth of July 5k run: The Watermelon Classic. In the past it has sold out so quickly, so the fact that we were able to get in was a big deal for us!

Or maybe it was just me. Bur honestly? I get just as excited and pumped up about a race as I do for nearly any country music concert or festival. {All the Miranda fans say HEEEYYYYY!!!!}

Fun fact about me:  I actually don't dread getting up early (as in - 6am or earlier) to run a fun race. I do, however, find it increasingly difficult to be thrilled to get up by or before 7am for work or any other activity,

Another fun fact:  I hate crowds. Like, with a passion. Especially when it's a huge crowd of people that I don't know, never met, etc. I'm naturally a VERY shy person, so it can get a little overwhelming in a large group. HOWEVER! At a race --- the more people running, the better.

That's not weird at all, right? RIGHT?????

The Watermelon Classic had a great course - relatively flat with a few hills here and there, and lots of music and watermelon at the end. Aaaaahh-mazing.

Moving on!

I have this weird thought process that I usually go through on the mornings of a race - any race. 5ks, 10ks, half-marathons, whatever the scenario. It's exactly the same with each and every race - yet I don't exactly realize it or snap out of it until I'm actually done with the race and feeling all the endorphins happening :)

But,my mind? Well, it goes a little something like this on Race Day:

  • {Cue alarm} Nope. Too early. Snooze.
  • {Second alarm} Ehhhhh....I can get ready in 5 minutes, tops. Snooze.
  • {Third alarm} Yep. Time to get up. STRETCH.
  • Why are races in the morning????
  • I'm an idiot. I suck at life. Stupid early mornings. Stupid races.
  • At least my gym clothes are comfortable.
  • WOW it feels good to stretch.
  • At least there will be snacks after the race. I'll take a nap afterward. Not too bad.
  • En route to the race: Thiiiiiiiis is gonna be awesome. I'm ready. Sooooo ready.
  • Starting line: Whoop whoop! Let's do this!
  • At the half-mile mark: WHAT AM I DOING
  • A hill? What the heck???? It's too early in the race for hills!
  • Downhill - Score!
  • 1.5 mile mark - Second wind...I'm gonna sprint!
  • AIR! AIR! I NEED AIR! Slowing down.
  • More hills? Bring it.
  • Water stop - nah, I'm good! Wait, it's 98 degrees at 8am. Yeahhhhh.....
  • Finish line!!! WHOOO!!!! 
  • When's the next race? Where can I sign up? Can we run again later today? OMGILOVERUNNING

I'm a tad overdramatic - and not at all a morning person.

Happy Wednesday party people!

What runs through your mind when you do something that challenges you?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mind the Gap

Happy July party people!!!

We are creeping up on the Fourth - and I have to say I'm ridiculously pumped. And caffeinated!

Yes, definitely caffeinated. Mmmm coffee.

Well! I started my new job last week and so far, so good. I pretty much dropped all technology on my trip to Georgia the week before (more on that later!), and I'm still trying to find my groove with this new schedule. Sure, I can blog when I get home, but the weather has been so beautiful lately I have little desire to open up a computer screen when I get home in the afternoons.

Aaah summer  :)

So anyway! After leaving my last job, it was vacation time and I hit the sunny skies to head to Georgia to visit my friend Jessica from college. Jess and her husband James are expecting their first bebe' in few (short!) months - so we soaked up all the girl time we could for 3 and a half days!

I've said it before, but there's just something about re-connecting with longtime friends and having some serious girl time. We had the best time.

But of course, how could we NOT when we were coming home to these sweet faces every night?

It's okay -- you can say it. Awwwww....


As soon as my plane landed, Jessica and James whisked me off for a full day of exploring Savannah. I must have said "wow" a thousand times that day -- everything was just incredible. The buildings, the history, the FOOD -- so many interesting things have happened/are happening there. I'll absolutely be back!

Lunch was on Tybee Island, where we ordered a GIANT platter of delicious seafood -- crab legs, crawfish, shrimp, potatoes, corn...the works -- and enjoyed it along with THIS VIEW:

...which was later followed by an incredible dinner in Savannah that considered of a pizza slice BIGGER THAN MY HEAD (see fork for reference):

Surprisingly, I don't have a ton of pictures from the trip. But then again, I rarely took out my phone in hopes of enjoying a technology hiatus. And let me tell you, it was a successful trip, in part because of that.

Even considering the fact that I woke up at 3:20 that morning to catch an early flight and consequently fell asleep on a late-afternoon trolley tour in Savannah. Oh it was lovely. Our driver had stopped the trolley and we were admiring this great, historic building with such a great story (so I'm told) and BAM. Sleepiness hit me and there I was - head hanging out the window, mouth wide open - ASLEEP...right in the middle of Savannah's historic district.

I'm the epitome of grace, I tell you this.

Thankfully, Jess was a dear sweet friend and elbowed me before too many people walking by could get a good laugh.

Thanks Jess! ;)

While James got up early and went to work on Tuesday, Jess and I took a girls' trip over to a nearby island to picnic at a state park and grab some beach time. We had THE BEST day -- since it was the middle of the week, the beach wasn't crowded and we were able to just explore to our heart's desire! We spent the entire day there and loved every minute of it:

By Thursday I was back in The City and on Friday morning I drove to my college town to meet two MORE college friends (it feels like ages since I've seen them!) for brunch. Fancy, that we are.

See? I told ya we were fancy :)

When was the last time you reconnected with friends or family?