January 30, 2014


Feeling: A little under the weather. I skipped yesterday's workout because I just wasn't feeling right. This unending cold is getting to me.

Reading: The Paris Wife...I didn't pick up this book at all over the weekend so I'm still working through it. I enjoy the story, but it's a little bit slow moving and seems to just follow the ins and outs of Hadley's and Ernest's relationship without building up to anything, but I'm still less than half way from finishing so we'll see.

Drinking: Coffee. I have never been a huge coffee drinker but yesterday, I opted for tea over coffee and it just wasn't cutting it.

Eating: A 'squagel' with cream cheese. Basically, a square bagel from Cosi. I don't understand either.

Watching: My DVR is way behind these days and I'm slowly trying to catch up. I am completely unenthused about what's up and coming on TV in the next few weeks. The Super Bowl? As much as I love football, I don't really care about either team and the commercials are all online already, so what's the point? The Olympics? Honestly, I could care less. I'm just really uninterested in winter sports.

Missing: Warm weather. I'm starting to think it's never going to be warm again.

Anticipating: The Pilot's birthday is next weekend! I already got him his birthday present (a hybrid bike) but I'm hoping we can do something fun to celebrate!

Wishing for: Another weekend like last weekend. Sadly, this weekend is going to be pretty busy.

Seeing in DC: No plans for anything right now, but I've got a long list of things I want to do in DC that I need to start chipping away at!

Loving: Taylor Swift's fabulous pony tail from the Grammy's. I rarely watch awards shows, but I caught some of the Grammy's this weekend and I thought Taylor Swift looked fantastic. Her ponytail was absolute perfection. Love her or hate her, you can't deny that this ponytail is amazing.

I've been a little quiet this week because I haven't been feeling too great, so I'm hoping to start feeling like myself again soon!

Hope you're all having a fabulous week!

January 27, 2014

This Weekend...at Home

This weekend was the first weekend since September that I was home and had both weekend days off.

It was glorious.

This is the first time in months that I've woken up on a Monday morning and not felt like I needed an extra day in the weekend.

Friday after work, The Pilot and I headed back out to Blue Jacket to meet up with some friends. Katie, formerly of Date Me DC, joined us and it was a great night filled with lots of laughs and great beer.

Saturday I slept until 9:30...the latest I've slept in in months. It was wonderful. I got up, made a quick breakfast, took Peyton for a walk and headed out to Logan Circle to meet up with Logan for a spin class at Zengo Cycle.

photo {via} Washingtonian
It was the best spin class I've ever taken. Christy, our instructor, started off the class by asking how many of us were hungover. A realist...I dig it. The class was super high energy and definitely a challenge. I've struggled with spin classes in the past where I've felt like I was just moving my legs, rather than actually getting a workout. This class was the furthest thing from that. It was a serious workout and I was pleasantly sore the next day. Bonus: My aching knee felt immensely better after the class. I'd love to ride again at Zengo but the $105 price tag for a 5 class package is a deterrent (compared with $80 at Revolve). The proximity to my office though might make it worth it. We'll see.

This weekend, for the first time in months, I didn't make a to-do list. So, after spin, The Pilot and I sat down together and noshed on Sweetgreen salads. He then took a nap and I sat on the couch watching the ABC Family Harry Potter Marathon and doing a crossword puzzle.

I had plans for Andrea and her boyfriend to come over on Sunday, so I aimed started cooking the beer bread I was planning to make. I may or may not have set my oven on fire and had to call the fire department while preheating my oven. Oops.

I spent the rest of my Saturday doing a major overhaul of our hall closet and it looks great now! I don't have before/after pictures because it was embarrassing but let's just say that it had been quite awhile since I had seen the floor of our hall closet.

Complete with The Pilot's new bike!
After finishing up with the closet, The Pilot and I curled up on the couch to watch last week's episode of Downton Abbey before calling it a night.

Sunday morning, we got up and headed to church. I decided to skip my planned workout due to a) no yoga classes that conveniently fitted into my planned day and b) being sore from spin! We headed to the grocery store after Mass and then got to cooking/cleaning/prepping for our guests!

This was the first time we've actually entertained since moving to DC and it was perfect! I definitely want to do that again...hopefully next time without the oven fire to ruin my planned menu? I made a buffalo chicken dip and some vegetarian chili that both turned out fantastic!{Recipes to make an appearance later this week}

This might actually be vegan chili...
Once Andrea and Kyle came over, we watched some of the Olympic trials the Grammys, started up a game of Cards Against Humanity while enjoying some Magic Hats and Peyton played with a ball.

Our guests left around 8:00. We cleaned up, caught the latest episode of Downton, took Peyton for a nice walk and called it a night.

I woke up this morning feeling amazingly well rested after a great weekend, headed to PT and then to the office. I've got a busy week ahead, but I'm planning to make it fun!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

January 24, 2014

Book Review: Hollow City

I stumbled upon Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children at a library book sale last summer and started reading it in the fall. I couldn't put it down. It was hands down, the best fantasy book I've read since Harry Potter. I loved the book and quickly turned to the internet to find out more about Ransom Riggs, the author. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the sequel to Miss Peregrine's would be out in January and I pre-ordered it from Amazon.

My Synopsis (since I don't really like Amazon's or Goodreads'): Jacob Portman grew up listening to fantastic stories that his grandfather told him about his childhood - about a girl who can make fire, a boy who is invisible and another who can control bees with his mind. At 16, just as he starts to become skeptical of his grandfather's stories, his grandfather is murdered and Jacob sets off to Wales to learn more about his grandfather. There, he discovers that the children in his stories are not only real, but are still very much alive despite assertions that they had all been killed in a bombing during World War II. As Jacob begins to learn more about his grandfather, he suspects that he, and the children, are in danger...the same kind of danger that killed his grandfather.

In the second novel, Jacob, along with the children journey to 1940s London, in the middle of the war, where they realize that they are involved in their own war against those that are determined to destroy the peculiar world they live in.

Using vintage photography to tell the stories, both stories come to life in a way that many novels are unable to.

The author, Ransom Riggs is a filmmaker and he created this wonderful trailer for the first book:

Intrigued? Hollow City, the Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children is just as good as the first one.

What I Thought: I can't get enough of these books. I devoured the second one just as quickly as the first. At times, I thought it was lulling, only to have the story pick up again in some unpredictable plot twists. As I neared the end of the book, I thought the series was going to end, only to uncover yet another plot twist and...at the end of the book, a page stating that there would, in fact, be a third installment.

Even more exciting than a 3rd installment is the news that Tim Burton has acquired the rights to a film adaptation, set to be released in July 2015.

So, please, do yourself a favor and go read these books. If you were a fan of the Harry Potter series, I promise that you will not be disappointed. When you do, please come back and let me know! I haven't found anyone else whose read these books and I'm dying to discuss them with someone!

It's going to be cold this weekend!
Pick up the book, some hot chocolate and stay warm!
Happy Friday!

PS: I was in no way compensated for writing this glowing review of these novels. I purchased the books on my own accord, fell madly in love with them and want everyone in the world to know how much I loved these books. 

January 23, 2014


Reading... The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. I started reading this on the Metro this morning so I'm only a couple pages in, but I love the way it's written. My friend Carolann, who recently moved to Hawaii, and I decided to start exchanging books with each other. I recently sent her The History of Love so I'm excited to have a friend to chat about books with!

Drinking... Cafe con leche. It got a little cold because I had to walk from the Metro this morning because it was all screwy, but it was still delicious.

Eating... A hard boiled egg, grapes and cheddar cheese. Not the most typical breakfast, but it's packed with protein...something I need to get more of these days.

Watching...Tuesday night TV was amazing. The New Girl and Mindy Project both had great episodes this week. How I Met Your Mother has been waning rapidly, to the point where I don't even want to watch it anymore but I feel like I can't give up when there are maybe 8 episodes left.

Missing... Baseball season. I could care less about football right now. The Seahawks are one of those teams that I've just never cared about either way and I am not a fan of the Broncos. Having a dog named Peyton is a tad bit annoying when every time I get in the elevator and someone asks what her name is, they immediately respond with 'Broncos fan?' No. Peyton was named after a character on One Tree Hill. Not by me.

This is our puppy trying to stay warm.
Not really...she tossed that blanket aside less than 10 seconds after I took this.
Anticipating... The Pilot getting his schedule for the month of February. He usually gets it by the middle of the month, but he won't get it until next week. Both of our birthdays are in February and I'm hoping we an do something fun to celebrate!

Wishing for... Another long weekend? Less than a month until President's Day!

Seeing in DC... I just bought a Living Social deal for the National Geographic Museum. I've been wanting to go to this one for awhile, especially for the Women of Vision exhibit. My friend Alicia and I bought the deal together, so we're planning a girls day out for next month to check it out!

Loving... This video of Mr. Met playing in the snow. Because you guys know that there are few things in the world I love more than Mr. Met. (Not loving: that you can't embed MLB.com videos into Blogger.)

Despite being a short week, this week has felt endless. I'm looking forward to having a weekend to enjoy myself!

What's on your 'Currently...' list?

January 22, 2014

Wedding Things V: The Dress

The first thing I did after The Pilot proposed was call my mom.

The conversation went something like this.

Mom: Hi honey!
Me: Hi Mom!
Mom: What's up?
Me: You know how we've always said that when I got married you would make my wedding dress?
Mom: Yes.....
Me: Well, you'd better get started because we just got engaged!

It took everything in me to not just scream it out the second she picked up the phone!

I haven't always known I wanted to get married and I was definitely not planning my wedding from the age of 5 but I've always known that if and when I did get married, my mom would make my dress.

While not a seamstress by trade or profession, my mom has been sewing since she was a girl. She took sewing as a class all through high school and has never given up the hobby.

She made all of my Halloween costumes growing up. When I started doing theater, she made all of my costumes, and when high school came around, she made both my junior and senior prom dresses.

Mom and I went dress shopping twice over the fall to get some ideas for my dress. It's a good thing we did because what I'm wearing is so entirely different from what I thought I wanted. Using a shared, secret Pinterest board, we exchanged dress ideas, mixing and matching tops and bottoms, straps and sleeves, lace and trim, comparing them all to the dress that's the inspiration for my own, until we knew exactly what I wanted.

So, on Saturday, we headed into New York's Garment District to peruse the fabric shops. Our first (and only stop) was to Mood, which, if you've ever watched Project Runway, you know all about.

This place was overwhelming but the staff were exceptionally friendly. It took a bit of time to peruse the fabrics to find the right kind we needed, and then we spent quite a bit of time comparing different fabrics for weight and color until we found the perfect one.

This is my fabric being rolled out for cutting. 
We had the fabric cut and ready to go. My mom is buying all of the lining at a fabric shop near her and aside from some trim that I'm still deciding on, she's ready to go. In fact, Sunday morning, she was already pinning fabrics to me to get the shape of the lining just right. She bought a dress form to match my measurements so that she can sew to that and I won't have to come home every weekend for fittings!

My mom is hoping to be finished with my dress in April. She's also making my veil, which she'll piece together shortly after that. There are still a few details of the dress that we haven't figured out yet, but those are all things that can wait until the dress is finished.

So, there you have it, all of the details of my dress! I honestly couldn't imagine wearing anything other than something my mom made. She's made every dress I've ever worn for every special occasion in my life (even for birthday parties!) so why wouldn't she make my wedding dress? She's so insanely excited about it too, and it's so fun to spend hours on the phone talking about it! I absolutely can't wait until it's finished because I know it's going to be absolutely stunning!

January 21, 2014

This Week in Training

I miss running.

There, I said it. I really miss running. I'm not as motivated to work out when I have to be creative in how I'm going to work out.

I've been working out 3x per week since starting PT which is all fine and dandy, but when I run, I usually work out 5-6 times per week and I don't hate it. So, I'm trying to get creative.

I still haven't started the Nike Training Club workouts I keep planning to start and after Wednesday's PT session, I didn't work out for the rest of the week.


Once again, I'm setting up a workout plan with the hopes of actually getting in all of these workouts. The lingering knee pain I had this weekend is leaving me less and less optimistic about my return to running. Until I started PT, my knee only hurt when I ran...now, it hurts when I walk. Lovely.

So, here's this week's plan:

Monday: Yogalates with Megan
Tuesday: NTC
Wednesday: Morning PT (pending snow) + Elliptical + NTC
Thursday: Power Walk on the Treadmill + NTC
Friday: Morning Yoga
Saturday: Spin with Logan
Sunday: Rest

So, this is where I need you guys. Help me stay accountable? Working out, even if it isn't running, will help me keep my fitness up so that when I do start running again, I'm not ridiculously out of shape and can actually try for the two races I'm signed up for in April!

What are your favorite ways to stay fit when you aren't running?

January 20, 2014

This Weekend...in New York

Ahhh the three day weekend. Such a fantastic luxury.

There are three ways to have a three-day weekend.

1. Take an extra day off and turn it into a 4-day.
2. Have a stay-cation. Be a tourist in your own city. Stay in. Get things done around the house.
3. Go away somewhere for 2 of the 3 days and spend the third day back in the comfort of your own home.

For this first 3-day weekend of 2014, I chose #3. Friday, after work, I made my way to Reagan Airport to catch a flight to Newark to start my weekend. My mom picked me up from the airport and we went home and stayed up way too late talking.

Saturday, my mom and I headed into New York to meet up with my college best friend and Maid of Honor, Danielle for a full day of wedding dress adventures. We met Danielle in Grand Central Station and then made our way to the Garment District.

We knew exactly what we were looking for. It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would, but after a few short hours, I had a dress.

I'll save all of the details for a wedding post to spare those of you who don't want to read anything about another wedding, but for those of you who are interested, check back Wednesday because I'll share all of the fabulous details of my wedding dress!

After our shopping adventures, we went to grab lunch, followed by a stop at Macaroon for hot chocolate and macaroons!

From there, we went to go look at bridesmaid dresses in the absolute jungle that is R&K Bridal. I was expecting a quiet bridal salon and what I got instead was more like Running of the Brides! We got out of there pretty quickly, did a little bit more shopping and called it a day.

Sunday, I headed to my old stomping grounds (Union Square) for coffee at Coffee Shop with my NYC running buddy, Emily. We caught up on just about everything before I headed back uptown to meet my mom and sister for brunch at KTCHN.

We ordered not-so bottomless mimosas (seriously, who puts a time limit on bottomless brunch!) and the most decadent French toast I may have ever had. We drank entirely too many mimosas and then ambled over to the Theater District to cash in on our Christmas gift from my mom's boyfriend, tickets to see Once. 

I loved the music in Once. I've gotten really into folk music lately and this was right up there along the lines with Mumford and Sons or Phillip Phillips. The story itself was a little slow moving, but I still really enjoyed the show.

We left the matinee show and made our way to Penn Station, where I hopped on a train to the airport and boarded a flight home. I got in around 9pm last night, sat on my couch and finished the book I was reading and called it a night.

Today, I'm enjoying my day off and looking forward to a short work week!

What's your favorite way to spend a 3-day weekend? Did you have one this week? How did you spend it?

January 17, 2014

Book Review: The History of Love

I haven't done book reviews on my blog since my 25 before 25 challenge, but I love reading them on other blogs, so I thought I'd start doing them again as a way to keep track of the books I'm reading each year...something I've always wanted to do.

The first book I've finished this year is The History of Love by Nicole Krass.

From Good Reads: Fourteen-year-old Alma singer is trying to find a cure for her mother's loneliness. Believing that she might discover it is an old book her mother is lovingly translating, she sets out in search of its author. Across New York an old man named Leo Gursky is trying to survive a little bit longer. He spends his days dreaming of the lost love who sixty years ago in Poland, inspired him to write a book. And although he doesn't know it yet, that book also survived: crossing oceans and generations, and changing lives... 

What I thought: This story was exceptionally beautiful. I think the only way to really understand what this book is about, is to read it. Leo Gursky is the main character, His approach to life is so raw that I had to wonder if the character was real. I don't think everyone would like this book. The book alternates from the perspectives of Leo, Alma and later, Alma's younger brother, 'Bird' and that gets confusing at times. I wouldn't call this a page-turner, but I found myself eagerly anticipating what would happen next and walking off the Metro with my nose in the book. 

What are you reading these days?

January 16, 2014


Reading... Hollow City, The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children.This book came out on Tuesday and I've been anxiously awaiting it since discovering the first book a few months ago. This book is, so far, every bit as exciting as the first and I love it. The author, Ransom Riggs, is going to be in the area later this month and I have every intention of going to see him! These books are the best fantasy genre books I've read since the Harry Potter series. I cannot recommend them enough!

Drinking... Coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer. This morning was tough. I can't believe it's only Thursday.

Watching... Downton Abbey was intense this weekend. Holy smokes. Parenthood is back and I'm loving that. The Mindy Project has been exceptional this season. I need Mindy Kaling to be my friend, please and thank you. I wasn't a big fan of her on The Office, but she's exceptionally talented.

Wanting to Watch... More TV shows! I'm that girl that starts watching a show three years after it airs. I've never seen Breaking Bad, Scandal, House of Cards or Orange is the New Black. Hell, I don't even have Netflix. What are the best shows you're watching that I need to jump on? Scandal is definitely on that list.

Missing... warm weather. It's cold again in DC and I need some Vitamin D. I would also like for my skin to not be so dry, to be able to drink cold water and not have to hover near a space heater the entire time, and to be able to spend a Saturday wasting away by the pool with a good book all day.

Anticipating... this weekend's trip to New York! I've got big plans this weekend. Saturday involves a little something that rhymes with shmedding mess and no, I'm not taking a trip to Kleinfeld's to say yes to the dress. Sunday, I'm going to Broadway with my mom and sister to see Once.

Wishing for... a good night's sleep. I'm not sleeping well at all these days. Some people have recommended melatonin and Sleepy Time tea, so I'm going to try adding those into my repertoire. This whole no-sleep thing is seriously throwing off my routine and I need to get back into it. I'll be back from New York Sunday night and have Monday off, so I'm hoping the holiday will give me the reset I need.

Seeing in DC... Twelfth Night at the Synetic Theater. Last week, Leanna asked if I would want to accompany her to the Synetic Theater's production of Twelfth Night. The Synetic is the company that delved into the world of silent Shakespeare. Yes, you heard that. Silent Shakespeare. I was just as skeptical as I'm sure you are, but this production of Twelfth Night was as a roaring 20s silent film. It was exceptional. It's playing in DC until February 16 and I would absolutely see it again. If you're in the DC area and up for trying something new and a bit different, check it out.

Loving... that this weekend is a 3-day weekend. Like I said before, I really need a reset.

So, there you have it! That's what's going on in my little world! What are you 'currently' doing? 

January 15, 2014

Wedding Things IV: The Ceremony

When we hit the 8 month mark on Monday, I was a little bit flabbergasted. Really?? That's it?? The start of 2014 meant no longer saying "September of next year" and instead, saying "September!" which is really exciting!

Last week, The Pilot and I went to a liturgy planning workshop at our church to start planning our ceremony.

The first thing they asked all of the couples was, "How many of you have your venue? Your photographer? Your flowers, etc." Everyone raised their hand. Then they asked, "how many of you have your ceremony planned out" and no one raised their hands.

It's not that we hadn't thought about it. The first thing we did after getting engaged was head straight to the church to find out what the pre-cana requirements were and start trying to find a date.

The Pilot and I are both Catholic, which, if you know anything about the Catholic church or Catholic weddings, makes things wayyyy easier on us. I had just always assumed that because it was a Catholic wedding, and every Catholic wedding I've been to has been exactly the same, that they would give us a few readings from the bible and tell us to pick our favorites and call it a day.

Our church
I was so happy to find out that that isn't at all the case! We can basically pick any readings we want and we have a lot of of freedom in how we want our ceremony to go. We are having a Mass, rather than just a ceremony, so there's a lot more planning involved than I thought, but I'm not worried about it! There are of course, some restrictions. We can't play 'All You Need is Love' as a recessional, but within the context of the Catholic setting, we have a lot of freedom.

We can even bake our own bread and supply our own wine if we really wanted to. (We aren't going to bake bread, we might supply the wine).

Growing up, I went to Catholic school, so I have a pretty good idea of the music I want for the ceremony.

There's even a website, Catholic Wedding Help, with so many valuable resources for planning a Catholic wedding. I'm so excited that this part of our wedding, the part that's most important, is something that can be just as much 'us' as the rest of the wedding. I had no idea that we would have so much flexibility with our Mass.

More shots from our church! {via}
The Pilot and I are planning to sit down together over a long brunch with all of the resources they gave us to plan out our liturgy.

I'm glad we're starting to figure all of this out because the pre-Cana process has been a huge headache. The church changed their process right after we got engaged and never told us, so we ended up missing out on important things and it's been a nightmare to reschedule with The Pilot's work schedule. I know it will all turn out ok, but this has definitely been the one thing we've been stressing about with the wedding.

So, we're 8 months out and we're planning our ceremony. Like I said in December, I took a break from wedding planning over the holidays. At the recommendation of Jenn, we did book our florist who is amazing. She's s super detailed and despite the fact that I really didn't care about flowers all that much, I absolutely love the bouquet she's designed for me!

Tell Me: Have you ever been to a Catholic wedding? What were some of the most memorable things for you? Did you have your own Catholic wedding? Any planning tips?

January 14, 2014

This Week in Training

The last time I ran was sometime in mid-November...before Thanksgiving. Before January, I think I went to the gym once and yoga twice in those 6 weeks between then and the end of the year.

I've never been in a workout slump that bad before. It was cold, I wasn't running and I was working two jobs which translated in me just not wanting to make the time to workout.

I'm glad I've finally gotten over that and back on the wagon.

Last week, I had 5 workouts planned. I did 3 of them. I'm perfectly ok with that. You can't exactly go from not working out at all to jumping right back into it.

I did the elliptical. I went to yoga. I went to a spin class. I didn't get in a Nike Training Club workout but that's more because I hadn't gotten the 8lb. medicine ball needed for the workouts yet. Now that I have that, I'm planning on getting in at least one NTC workout this week.

Yesterday, I went to PT and tried some new exercises which made me feel like I'm not anywhere close to getting back into running. I've been doing a lot of balance exercises and, while I find them really easy on the right side, standing on my left leg and tossing a ball, or doing leg lifts with a resistance band makes me feel like I'm drunk and have no coordination whatsoever.

So that doesn't make me feel great about returning to running anytime soon. But, my ideal goal is to be running again by the end of February, so I'm still a long way from that and optimistic.

Here's what I'm planning for this week:

Monday: Morning PT + At Home Yoga (DVD)
Tuesday: Elliptical + NTC 'Get Focused'
Wednesday: Morning PT + NTC
Thursday: Elliptical
Friday: Yoga
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: ???

So there you have it. Here's to hoping for a speedy return to running!

January 13, 2014

Love/Don't Love

1. I didn't sleep last night. At all. At 1:30am, I took half a Benadryl to try and get me to sleep and then I sat in this half sleeping/half awake stage until my alarm went off at 5:30 for PT. Don't Love.

I hate starting these posts on a negative note, but when you're this tired, it's hard not to. 

2. Today marks 8 months until our wedding day. Eight. I was convinced it was 9 and may or may not still be counting on my fingers to make sure that it is, in fact, 8. It's all starting to feel very real and very exciting! Watch out for another post on 'Wedding Things' this week! Love.
3. I haven't been sleeping well at all lately. This episode from last night also happened last week and has been going on since mid-December. I slept fine while I was home for Christmas, but since being back in my apartment, I'm not sleeping well. Don't Love.
4.This weekend kind of got the best of me. I stayed in Friday night and vegged out with The Pilot. Saturday morning, I was in the hospital with a friend who had a bit of a run in the night before and ended up with a mild concussion. Saturday afternoon, there was brunch. Saturday night, The Pilot made fajitas and they were spectacular. Sunday, I worked. This weekend was not at all exciting, but it was a weekend just the same. Love.
5. I'm going to New York this weekend and couldn't be more excited! Love.
6. I am trying to eat my breakfast this morning...yogurt with blueberries, pomegranate seeds and granola...out of a mason jar, and it is not easy. Eating my salad out of a mason jar this afternoon is probably not going to be any easier. Don't Love.
7. I didn't get in all of my workouts last week, but I got in some of them. Coming from basically going the entire month of December without exercising, I'll call this progress. Love.
8. Hollow City, the sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children comes out tomorrow. I pre-ordered it on Amazon and it looks like it might actually be at my house tonight. I haven't been this excited about a book release since Harry Potter. THAT's saying something. Love.

Sorry for the post with no pictures. I know it's boring. I promise to have a more eventful week/weekend next week with picture loaded posts!

January 9, 2014


Reading...The History of Love by Nicholas Krauss. I love this book so so much. It definitely isn't a book I think everyone would enjoy because at points it becomes a little bit difficult to figure which of the two main characters is telling the story, but it's beautifully written and very raw. I'm not sure how the two characters lives intersect just yet, but I have the feeling that's what the good part will be. The book is about Leo Gursky, a Polish Jew who escaped Poland during the Nazi invasion of Poland, who wrote a book for the girl he loved back in Poland. Years later, in New York City, the book he thought had been lost forever materializes.

I bought this book at the library book sale I went to this past summer and it's definitely one of my favorites.

Eating Drinking...Coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer. Yum.

Watching...Downton Abbey! I'm sooooo glad this show is back. I know a lot of people don't get into it, but I started watching last season and couldn't stop. My latest kick is trying to convince The Pilot that we need to go to Highclere Castle and visit the actual Downton Abbey. Let's add this to my 2014 Wish List, shall we?

Missing...Warm weather. Summer. Baseball season. Riding Bikeshare bikes around DC. Running.

Anticipating...My first trip to New York since leaving almost a year and a half ago. Yes, I said that. If you've been reading for awhile, you know that New York isn't exactly my favorite city.

Wishing for...Warm weather. Summer. Baseball season...you get the picture.

Loving...January. As much as I'm missing and wishing for summer, I'm in a really good mood this January. Actually, just today. I've finally started getting some sleep and I'm feeling less like a zombie and more like an actual person. This morning, I actually woke up with enough time to sit and watch TV for 15 minutes and make my coffee before leaving this morning! I love goal setting and the excitement and promise of a new year and, well, as cheesy as this sounds (and while I'm not at all wishing this year away), every day that goes passed, is one day closer to my wedding day and that is truly exciting!

Listening to...The Fear by Lily Allen. I loved this song in college and lately it's come back on my radar. Absolutely love it.

I've gotten a lot of great feedback on these posts and have seen quite a few of you write similar posts! I can't at all claim the idea, but can't give credit as I've seen this on at least a dozen blogs. I like these much better than Three Things Thursday as I don't always have three things to tell and find myself scraping for content. Since one my goals for 2014 is to blog much more, I think I'm going to make these Currently... posts a weekly feature.

So tell me: What else would you like to see on Currently...?

January 7, 2014

Let's Talk Training

For what is supposed to primarily be a running blog, I haven't talked much about running...or any other form of exercise since my decision to drop out of the Marine Corps Marathon. 

If you've been reading for the last couple of weeks, you know that I'm currently in Physical Therapy for tendinitis in my knee.

My knee really only bothers me when I run and I've done an ok job of keeping up with my PT exercises, but I could be doing a lot more and so that's one of my training goals for January (and for this year).

My doctor only put in for 8 PT sessions, so I'm taking them slowly. The biggest thing I'm working is is strengthening my hips, so I'm doing a lot of bridges, clam shells and leg raises. 

I'm hoping to start running again at the beginning of February, after I go back to the doctor. If I can start running then, I'll be in great shape to start training in early March for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in April. 

While I'm not running, I have a couple of things in mind to stay in shape and keep my fitness up so that my return to running isn't plagued with out-of-shape-ness.

1. Yoga
  • I love yoga and I love my yoga studio. It's my happy place. Last night, during his own workout, The Pilot even said he wants to try yoga with me! Hot yoga, cold yoga, it doesn't matter. My goal for this month is to do yoga 2-3 times per week, whether in the studio or at home.
2. Spinning
  • Every time I've ever had any kind of issue with my knee, the doctor tells me to spin. The problem is, it's expensive and I prefer yoga. I'm planning to make it a goal (at least for this month) to spin once a week. There's a community class on Friday at a nearby studio so I'm hoping to get into that! 
3. Nike Training Club
  • I've always done these workouts sporadically, but I'm hoping to commit to them for this month...especially the arm workouts. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want nice, toned Mobama arms for my wedding. Consider this an added bonus. For now, I'll make it a point to get these workouts in once or twice per week. 

4. Fake Running The Elliptical
  • Every runners' least favorite form of exercise. It's the closest thing to running without being actual running. I don't think I have much of a choice in this form of exercise...which I think is why injured runners hate it so much. Cue this one for 3x per week.  
So, here's my plan for this week
Monday: Leave work early because I'm mind numbingly tired. Try to fall asleep. Fail at falling asleep. Pop a Benadryl at 8:30 and PTFO. 
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Morning PT + Elliptical 
Thursday: Ellitpical + NTC
Friday: Spin
Saturday: Yoga
Sunday: Rest

Have you ever been injured? What was your plan to return to running as quickly/healthily as possible?

January 6, 2014

Love/Don't Love

1. Friday night, I headed out to Bluejacket Brewery with some friends. It just opened in the Fall and I had been wanting to check it out for awhile. I wasn't at all disappointed. The food and beer were exceptional and I'm already itching to make another trip there. Love.

2. This cold front across the US sucks. I'm sorry for all of you who live in Montana and North Dakota were it's supposed to feel like -60 degrees tomorrow. I bet the -18 we're supposed to feel in DC seems downright balmy to you. I'll still be whimpering about it. Don't Love.
3. This weekend got way ahead of me. I worked all day Saturday and just really didn't have time to get everything done that I wanted to on Sunday. Don't Love.
4. I made a new resolution over the weekend: to eliminate the word 'hate' from my vocabulary. I realize that I use it...a lot. 'I hate the cold.' 'I hate the Packers.' 'I hate my phone.' While these phrases are inconsequential, I find that constantly using the word 'hate' just brings up a lot of negativity. It's going to be tough, but I'm committed. Love.
5. I know there's a lot of hate out there on the elliptical but I spent 30 minutes on it yesterday and felt better than I have in months. I stopped running almost two months ago to get my knee back in shape and the elliptical is the closest thing I have to running. Love. (If it wasn't 8 degrees outside, I might consider elliptigo-ing around DC. )

6. I spent some time working on my blog redesign this weekend...except that I was working off of my actual blog, rather than my test blog...so bear with me while I get it looking pretty again. Don't Love.
7. I didn't get any sleep last night. It started about two weeks before winter break. I wake up somewhere between 1:30 and 3 in the morning and don't fall asleep again until about 30 minutes before my alarm goes off. I slept great while I was on winter break but I'm back to not sleeping again and it's driving me crazy because I'm exhausted all the time. Don't Love.
8. January is officially in full swing and that's a good thing (except for the cold). Love.

How was everyone's weekend?
Try anything new?

January 2, 2014

2014: Looking Ahead

I love the start of the New Year. I love the opportunity it presents to look back on the past year, on goals you made, things you accomplished, things you didn't accomplish, how you changed, how you grew, and how you're becoming a better you.

I made a list of goals for 2013. I didn't accomplish most of them. I don't mind. Most of them were running related and 2013 was the year that brought my first case of runners' burnout and, as a result, my first running related injury.

Of that list, I didn't run a sub-4 marathon. I didn't run one at all! I did PR the half-marathon...by 5 seconds! I didn't run a sub-25 minute 5k and I only took one shot at it. I didn't complete a 30 Day Yoga Challenge...but I made it through 19 days and found a love for yoga that I had never had before. I did get on a plane at least once per month. I did explore as much of DC as possible. I didn't study for the Foreign Service Test...and don't know if I will. I didn't save 1/3 of my salary...or close to it, but I put money in Savings and that's great. I didn't finish my college scrapbook...and 4 1/2 years out of college, don't know that I still care to. I did continue on my ballpark journey and visited 4 new stadiums.

See, that's the thing about goals. Things happen and things change. Some of the things on that list are things I'm not sure I want to still do. We'll see. I definitely still want to run a sub-4 marathon and I definitely want to do a 30 Day Yoga Challenge and visit all of the ball parks and put money in the bank, and those things will happen. Hopefully this year, but maybe not.

2014 is going to be one of the biggest years of my life. I'm getting married! This year, I'm busy planning my wedding...my marriage...my future! All of those goals I made for myself are great, but now, some of them, like saving money...are about both of us, and that's tremendously exciting!

That beings said, I've always been a goal-oriented person and I thrive off of setting goals and making lists and checking things off of them. So, here's my list of goals, resolutions, to-do's, or whatever you want to call them, that I have for 2014.

1. Get myself healthy and running again. This means a successful run of Physical Therapy. Doing yoga 2-3 times a week to gain flexibility and getting serious about strengthening my muscles and cross-training. I'd like to run a marathon this year. I'd like to do it in under 4 hours. Right now, getting back to running is my priority. So, I'll take things one step at a time.

2. Complete a 30 Day Yoga Challenge. I made it 19 days last time and the only reason I stopped is because I got hurt. Maybe starting marathon training and a 30 Day Yoga Challenge with no solid yoga base were a bad idea. If I get into a regular yoga practice now, I think I can complete the full 30 days injury free by spring.

3. Develop flexible vegetarian/non-vegetarian meals. Cooking in my house is a challenge. With The Pilot eating meat and being allergic to seafood, and me being a pescatarian, it gets complicated. I want to develop easy recipes that accommodate both of us...instead of continuously making two separate meals. I love to cook and with him only home a few days a week, this shouldn't be too difficult. We'll see.

4. Organize my recipes. I have a spattering of recipes all over my apartment. In magazines, cook books, printed out pages, in a folder in my email account...everywhere. It's time to get the organized and to keep in one central location so that I always have my favorite recipes on hand. I'll be scouring Pinterest for some fun DIY recipe organizers for this one. If you have one you like, feel free to send it my way!

5. Cook my way through my Pinterest boards. Logistically, this might be tough as I don't intend to stop pinning recipes, but rather than just keeping them online, I want to actually try these recipes. I've tried some of them (most of them I didn't like, ha!) but this year, I want to actually make it a point to make all of these things.

6. Make macaroons from scratch. I just love French macaroons. When The Pilot and I were in Paris last year, it took everything I had to allow myself to nap before heading out in search of macaroons in my jet lag induced haze. I have a few different recipes for them and I've never tried to make them but I know it's supposed to be difficult, so we'll see. There's a Sur Le Table near my apartment that does macaroon classes so if my first go isn't a success, maybe I'll sign up!

via {long distance loving}
A lot of these have to do with cooking. I guess I'm going to spend a lot of time in the kitchen this year!

7. Continue exploring DC as much as possible. I've fallen hard for this city in the kind of way that everyone warns you you might get your heart broken. Except that I don't see that happening. Even when I was waking up every morning dreading my day in a job I hated, I still loved this city. 2014 is going to be about making DC even more my home.

The National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden Fountain, in spring
8. 'Oops' my way to more places. I haven't gone on an 'Oops...I went to...' trip in ages...actually, I didn't go on one at all in 2013. Sure, I dropped everything a few times and went home to Jersey, but I miss the days of The Pilot calling and saying, 'I have 36 hours in Minneapolis starting tonight. Want to come?' The problem is that he didn't really have long overnights in very exciting cities this year. Sure, I'll go to Omaha but Gulfport, Mississippi? No thanks. I'm hoping he gets some better trips this year so that I can jet set a bit more!

9. Continue on my ballpark journey. I only have 8 more ballparks to go until I've seen them all! I'd like to make it back to Minneapolis this year and visit Target Field. Miami would also be nice. I wouldn't mind a trip to Saint Louis either. If I can visit three more stadiums this year, I'll be happy. I would also like for the Mets to make the playoffs. That would be a phenomenal wedding present. Terry Collins, take note.

So, there you have it. That's my plan for 2014. As always, I'll keep Planes, Trains and Running Shoes updated on my progress. Coming next week? My blog goals for 2014 and what you can expect from this here blog as it goes into its 4th year!

What are some of your goals for 2014?

January 1, 2014

Christmas 2013

I'm a little sad to say that this Christmas has been exhausting!

Monday morning, I headed to work in DC. My office let us out at 4:00 and I headed over to my retail job for an evening shift. The Pilot and I were driving to New Jersey so we planned on leaving DC around 8:00 to avoid traffic.

Luckily we didn't hit any and made it in to Jersey by 11pm. I was absolutely exhausted from working both jobs that day and went straight to bed.

Tuesday was Christmas Eve and I woke up and headed off to get my nails done. I spent the afternoon lounging around my mom's house drinking hot chocolate and watching Love Actually with The Pilot before getting ready for our Noche Buena festivities.

Noche Buena is a Latin tradition. We cook roast pork, black beans and rice, yucca and lots ofother yummy tthings. Then we open presents and eat dessert.

This year was no exception. We had an absolutely wonderful night. My sister, who had found out that afternoon that the engine on her car had died'got an exceptional surprise when my mom asked her to go grab something from the garage and she opened the door to a new car, complete with a big, red bow tied to the window.

When everyone else left we head to Midnight Mass where, somewhere around the homily, I start to struggle with keeping my eyes open.

After Mass, we headed to bed and woke up earlier than I would have liked to on Christmas to head upstairs and open presents from Santa.

I didn't ask for much this year and I really didn't need much but I was happy with the fun and exciting gifts I got! The Pilot had been asking for new clothes for the last few Christmases so I took care of that and raided Gap, Banana Republic and J Crew to get him some nice clothes and he was really happy.

A sampling of this year's gifts!

After opening presents, my mom strayed from her normal tradition of making cinnamon rolls and made this delicious Panettone French toast recipe.

After breakfast, we had some rushing to do to get dessert in the oven and get dressed before heading over to The Pilot's parents house, which is conveniently just a mile down the road.

We exchanged Christmas gifts with his family (I picked up this year's White House Christmas Ornament for everyone and it was a huge success and then headed to his uncle's house for an early Christmas dinner.

The Pilot left early Thursday for work and my sister and I headed up to northern NJ for brunch at our sister Zuzy's house. Zuzy just moved back to the East Coast from San Francisco and it was so great to get to see her and her family for the holidays.

I spent the weekend in Texas visiting my family there, before heading back to DC on Tuesday to ring in the New Year with The Pilot.

We had a perfect New Year's. Dinner out, two bottles of wine and watching the ball drop from our living room couch. I loved it. This is a big year for us and I was happy we were able to ring it in together!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!
Here's to 2014!

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