Tag Archives: traveling

2012…the highlights reel.

I almost didn’t write this post, because it is SO hard for me to wrap up a year that was truly one of the best years of my life, but I thought a fun post in ‘highlight reel’ fashion would be a fun way to recap some fun moments.

2012 in highlights:

 I unseated comfort zones, from work, to running, to becoming certified in barre n9ne

I traveled, traveled, traveled (to wine country, Mexico, and the Bahamas)

I experienced an unforgettable wedding

I lived the shit out of Maine, lakation-style

Met blog friends in Atlanta, Chicago Austin, AND Maine ‘bloggy meet-up’ style

I spent more time with my family and sisters, and the most beautiful niece in the world

And the biggest highlight of 2012 most certainly has to be when M asked me to marry him <3

2012 is a year that I lived, loved, and played hard…a year I truly lived the shit out of. And 2013? I’m coming for you, like whoa. Happy New Year, friends, and thank you all for sharing this year with me, it’s truly been a blessed, gratitude-filled year. <3

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Happy things Friday

It’s yet another FEF up in here people. Finally Effing Friday, for those that are just tuning in ;-)

Good GRIEF has it been a long long LONG week of travel. Let’s see, 4 planes this week, 3 planes last week, thousands of miles in between, and I am toast. While the first leg of two weeks of travel was for pleasure, this week was just.so.tiring. So I think I deserve to revel in the fact that I am home, I am in my own home, my own routine, my own FOOD.

So here are a few things that are making me happy – beyond the fact that I am home ;-)

Getting a promotion!! I had my review while I was in the office this week in California and not only did I get a pretty sizable raise, I got a promotion! I was floored. I was hoping it would be coming soon, but had no idea my boss had been working on this for months.

Feeling like a hugely valued employee. Combine the aforementioned with the nicest, most heartfelt, most complimentary email I have ever ever received from ANYONE and I am a very happy employee. My boss’ boss (who becomes interim boss for me when she is on maternity leave – again – next summer) sent me not only a Christmas card with a gift card inside, he sent me an email that said – in effect, this: Perhaps the most special thing about you and many won’t realize, is that you are making people around  you better than they were before they met you.  I can guarantee you that in their next job they will take the things you have taught them and they will look much smarter and accomplished than they are…some will give you credit, some won’t, but I will know they are improved because they worked with you.

Um, wow. Speechless. Utterly.

(with such a tough travel week, and feeling challenged by the time change and inability to choose my own meals 90% of the time, the aforementioned, plus feeling like I ate so mindfully this week and so peacefully felt like a huge accomplishment!!)

68176_10151285028751170_1225021644_nMeeting the one and only Lindsay Cotter (AND her dog AND her husband!!) While on my cross-country ‘tour’ this week (first in California, and then in Austin), I was extremely fortunate to meet Lindsay Cotter. Finally. It’s been years of following her blog, and really becoming friends – aka blends! (blog friends!), so I was thrilled to finally meet her. We walked around the lake, we talked, we met up with James and her brother in law and their cute as hell pup at the dog park, and then I got a treat by seeing the Whole Foods HEADQUARTERS store, oh em gee. I could spend all day in there. It was a perfect afternoon and capper to one long ass week. Thank you Lindsay!! SO much! (AND for the Healthy Bites treats you gave me for my flight!!)

And a weekend ahead that is almost planLESS. Yep, you read that right. An almost planLESS weekend. I. Cannot. Wait.

Happy Friday, friends, make this weekend a goodie!

Thankful things Friday

As I have been trying my best to participate in the 40 days of thankfulness challenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this month, I thought it would be fitting to share a few things I’m thankful for on this Friday (FINALLY EFFING FRIDAY, I should say – longest.week.ever.)

First up? I’m thankful to have the best boyfriend fiancee ever. <–still getting used to this. I hate the word fiancee, actually, but it does sound like a wonderful ‘upgrade’ from boyfriend, doesn’t it? Since he is so much *more* than that. I honestly don’t think there is a day that doesn’t go by that he doesn’t surprise me in some way, show me love in a unique or even, funny, way, or make me laugh hysterically.

On the ‘one-month’o-versary’ since we got engaged (like that moniker?!).Last night, when I got home from teaching my third barre n9ne class on the day (#nevergetsold #b94lyf!), as I was attempting to make my ‘ice cream reward’ (Oikos frozen greek yogurt vanilla, with a spoonful of Chobani vanilla chocolate chip yogurt, a few strawberries and a sprinkle of M&Ms!), he pulled me into his arms and hugged me, kissed my cheek and said, ‘you are the most beautiful, smart, loving, hot woman in the world, did you know that?’ Swoon. (and he says this to me quite often, of some variation, but in the most unforeseen moments. #thebest).  And this morning? As I was rushing out of the shower (yes, we do shower together most days – TMI, perhaps, but with such a huge tub, it just makes sense, right? And it’s our morning time together before we start our days!), trying to skirt around him as he was all soapy, he lathers soap all over me and laughs, ‘see, now you can’t get out! you’re all soapy!’ wise guy. 

:-)

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My sisters.

Duh, this is a no brainer, right? But seriously, we had the best time on Monday at a long-awaited ‘sister dinner.’ Just us three. No distractions. Not even the best niece in the world. Just us. Out to dinner, wine, chit-chat. Catching up on our lives, talking about Jess’s marathon, Jen’s foray into her new job, and well, marriage ideas ;-) We giggled. We finished each other’s sentences (and Jen’s wine hehe). We bitched. (nothing bad, just stuff that only us sisters would get amongst ourselves about random things!). We just had fun together. And it is one more step closer as I simplify and make more time for those I care so much about. Like my sisters and my niece.

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Mexico. 

Today is my last day of work until 10/29. Wheeeee! M and I are heading to Playa del Carmen at the uber early time of 5:30 am on Monday to celebrate this girl’s wedding!! We are staying Monday-Friday and her wedding is on Wednesday. Beyond that? Not planning a damn thing. Beach, books, talking, sleeping, enjoying. Perhaps a run or two. Perhaps a barre n9ne-for-one, but beyond that, simplicity.

This is the first vacation that M and I have gone on together, alone. We’ve traveled together quite a bit over the course of our 2+ years together and I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to do that, but this time? It’s just us (oh and a wedding to attend hehe and celebration to be had hehe!). I couldn’t be more thrilled.

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Happy weekend AND week ahead, friends. Do something to simplify this week, mmk? And I’ll be sure to drink a glass of wine or 17 next week for all of you suckers stuck at work (sorry, I couldn’t resist!). Cheers!

I’ll take chair #3 please :-)

Bits and pieces.

**Just some bits and pieces flitting through my brain that don’t quite make a post in of itself, but together, make a lil potpourri of thoughts that I don’t want to lose!**

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Can someone first explain to me, how is it *only* Wednesday? Whenever I travel, it feels like a time warp, backwards and forwards! Starts off with a bang and then mid-week, starts to wane, like whoa. I know I will catch my second wind for the tail end of my trip, but man, does traveling mess with me. Routine, baby, it’s where it’s at ;-)

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I am supremely amazed at how differently I’ve handled eating during this trip. While I have had several trips across three time zones since I started the barre n9ne challenge last year, which has made me more mindful and aware of eating when hungry, not out of habit or mindlessly, but this trip has just felt the most different of them all. For starters, I was *really* worried I’d be ridiculously hungry during Monday’s flight since it left at 8 am, and arrived at 2:30 pm (in my brain, but 11:30 PT) where I would have to endure what should be breakfast and lunch, yet only be barely lunchtime on the West Coast when I arrived.

For the first time, I forced myself to retrain my eating into West Coast times from the minute I stepped off the plane. And surprisingly? It worked! I wasn’t heinously hungry the entire flight, either. I scored some steel cut oats at the hotel (last minute score! Arm pump!) and just needed a banana to sustain me until I landed and could grab a bite once I got my car, maneuvered my way out of LA and go to my office, around 12:30 PT. That has seriously been my golden ticket this week. I haven’t woken up famished (hungry, but not wilting!), and I’ve generally been hungry at the ‘right’ times on the West Coast. Score.

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I ran outside – alone – for the first time EVER since  I started this job 18 months ago. (well, that’s not entirely true. I did run on the beach AT my hotel when I first started…but that doesn’t feel quite the same, since there were people everywhere. If that makes sense). I knew I wanted to finally run outside, when it would be light enough to do so safely (many of my trips up until this point have been during winter months where it was just too dark to do it previously). And so I would not get lost, I came up with a genius plan (if I do say so myself!). I ran FROM my hotel TO my office. Since I know the route by heart and it’s about 2.4 miles one way, making for a solid just about 5 mile route.

What most surprised me, beyond loving being outdoors and running IN Cali and ON flat, flat, FLAT roads was how PRETTY everything smelled. I smelled flowers everywhere. I heard birds chirping. I even heard the electrical wires above me buzzing. It was quiet, even on usually-busy main roads (it was 5:30 am, I guess I can see why). I LOVED it.

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We had our long-awaited event this week for work. (the reason I am out here this week) And it was SO cool to see an event come off without a hitch, one that my boss and I have been working on for months. It was fun to interact with those that arrived, from the students from a local college (that were part of the competition for this particular event), to my company’s executives, to the media that came, and to my co-workers, too. I finally felt comfortable chatting on the fly with people and not feeling like I stuck out like a sore thumb. Perhaps it goes back to feeling confident in who I am, for the first time pretty much ever, huh?

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This whole shifting focus, thing? Yeah, it’s REALLY working for me. I have not dreaded this trip much at all (besides the always hard goodbyes to M), I have looked forward to it. I have embraced the challenges, I have done new things (running alone, as I mentioned, for starters!), and I have just enjoyed the time and the opportunity. It has gone a long way, and I couldn’t be more glad, or more relieved at that.

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So far, it’s been a GREAT week. And I guess the bits and pieces flitting through my head culminates into more than I thought it would, huh? ;-) 

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PS – THANK YOU to everyone for all of your feedback, compliments, and support on my post yesterday. It meant so much to see such positive feedback and enthusiasm. I was nervous to post before and after pictures for a number of reasons, but am so glad the message I wanted to get through as part of that came shining through, rather than it being uber focused on numbers and such. THANK YOU!

I wish there was smellavision (er, blogavision?!) – those flowers smelled GOOD!

“Shift your focus”

Shift your focus.

Sage words from my friend Steph as I was sharing with her and my sis my thoughts on this very blog post, as I start to slide into a bit of ‘dread mode’ heading into traveling (again) next week to California. As I’ve said many times before, these trips always take a lot out of me, from the cross-country travel, to the adjustment (or lack thereof!) to the 3-hour time difference, which not only messes with my sleep pattern but most importantly (lol) my eating patterns (since I feel hungry allthedamntime, hungry when I wake up, hungry when I get to work, hungry all afternoon, given my meals are at such different times there vs. here. The time difference just sucks, plain and simple, for eating!). And don’t even get me started on how much it messes with my beloved routine. ;-)

But I am going to try something new this time. I am going to shift my focus. Focus on where I am, not where I am not.

Rather than look at the 7-day forecast (which we all know will change, anyway!) and seeing 82 degrees on the day I fly out and already wishing I wasn’t going to miss such beautiful weather, I’ll look at the 7-day forecast for Costa Mesa and realize that hey, it’s warm there *too*. Score.

Rather than be missing the rundates and the barre dates and the barre n9ne classes I won’t be teaching (or taking), I’ll focus on the classes I am taking in California, adjusting to the style of classes I may take, and experimenting with my very first outdoor run near my hotel (it’s always been uber dark in the morning when I’ve traveled there the last handful of times, but no more!), and a long-awaited dinner date with this awesome chick.

Rather than stressing about each and every meal and disliking that I am eating out more than I’d like, I’ll embrace the new places I plan to try, and request a mini-fridge in my hotel room and stock up on a few things at Trader Joe’s. And I’ll make every effort to make the best damn mock oatmeal bowl of goodness that I possibly can. Perhaps the best ‘mock’ bowl ever (next to homemade!).  Shifting my focus on adjusting to my environment, rather than wishing I was elsewhere.

Rather than missing M like whoa…well, I guess this one just won’t change, because let’s face it, I know I will miss him like whoa, but the goodbyes are the worst part and the welcome back hug and kiss are by far the best part, right up there with getting into bed, snuggling close, placing my face into the crook of his neck, where it fits just ever so perfectly, and falling to sleep smiling, happy to be home, but also happy to have focused on the here and now, not the there and future.