August 26, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 1

After spending the summer deliberating on whether I wanted to run a fall marathon, and then deciding which race would be best for me given my timeline (injury recovery + training time + wedding), I finally decided on a race.

I'm planning to run the Rehoboth Beach Marathon on December 6th.

I'm not planning to register for it though until after my wedding, when my mileage has picked up a bit and I'm confident that my knee can handle a full marathon training cycle.

Last week, was Week 1 of my 16 week plan. I normally start my training plans with a solid base of 25 miles and five days a week of running. Since I wasn't quite there yet, I'm working on cutting one run a week short so I can get in the 5 runs per week and just keeping my weekly mileage at a place where I can comfortably build up.

Rehoboth Beach Marathon Training: Week 1
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 2 miles easy
Sunday: 9 miles

Total Mileage Last Week: 21
Missed Workouts: 0
Trouble Spots: My knee wasn't hurting on Sunday, but it didn't feel great. 3 miles from home, I decided to turn around so that I would be closer to home if I needed to stop, but I was able to finish strong.
Cross Training Workouts: None
Strength Training Workouts: I'm doing a 30 Day Arm Challenge right now...but that isn't really doing anything for my running.
Planned Mileage this Week: 25 miles
Goals for this Week: Start cross training.
Current Annoyances: It bothered me that my knee didn't feel 100% on Sunday.
Things to Keep in Mind: You're doing it right, take it easy.

Week 1 done. 15 weeks to go.

August 25, 2014


I wish this was a post about baseball.

The last week has been one of those weeks that when it rains, it pours.

Life has thrown some curve balls my way and I'm still processing everything and trying to focus on what I need to be doing right now.

I'm not quite ready to share all of the details, but I can tell you that it isn't life threatening, no one is sick, and we are still getting married.

I've been trying really hard to stay focused on these simple facts and count my blessings, but man, it's hard.

I've been running a lot trying to clear my head. It's working.

Last week was my first full week of marathon training, which I'll recap this week. It went surprisingly well. 9 miles doesn't feel nearly as hard as it did a few months ago.

This week, I need to get back to yoga. I miss it, and right now, I really need it. So that's where I'll be tonight.

In the mean time, I'm going to try to keep my head out and figure all of this out.

I had a good weekend. I took Friday off. We picked up The Pilot's wedding band. Saturday, we went to a BBQ and Sunday, I ran, window shopped, deep cleaned my bathroom, and made a nice dinner. I baked this weekend. I didn't think about what's going on, and I just tried to enjoy myself.

I just need to take things one day at a time. I'll have some more definitive answers about things by the end of this week, and right now, there's no point worrying about anything until I do.

So, that's that.

August 18, 2014

Weekend Love

I took a mental health day on Friday. It was wonderful. Love.

I really needed to take a day for myself. While I had glorious plans of spending all day Friday by the pool, it ended up being more of a productive day than anything, which is always good.

I headed out for a nice, easy 6 miles on the Mount Vernon Trail. It was wonderful. There was no one on the trail and I really enjoyed just having it to myself. The bikers on the trail have been getting really nasty lately, so I really liked just being able to go and clear my head without any distractions. Love.

The Pilot and I spent the afternoon running a couple of wedding errands - picking up some reception decor, getting our marriage license - and grocery shopping.

That night, we went over to a friend's house for some patio grilling and a good dose of Cards Against Humanity before heading home.

Saturday, I took the morning off from running and just did a short at-home workout before doing some stuff around the house. I was working a wedding in Silver Spring later that day, so I just took the morning nice and easy before I would be on my feet all day.

The wedding was beautiful and I had a lot of fun. I had worked with this wedding planner once last year just as an extra set of hands and jumped at the chance to do so again as a way to prepare myself for my own big day!

Sunday, I woke up and headed out for 9 miles around my favorite DC Monuments. I didn't want to run 9 miles, but it ended up being one of the best runs I've had in awhile. Love.

Right before my run, I put some milk on the crock pot to make Greek yogurt for the week. It was nice to start that process earlier in the day, since last Sunday I was up until almost midnight waiting for the yogurt to come down in temperature.

I didn't really want to do much yesterday, so I spent the rest of the day crossing some things off of my To Do list and playing with my new ice cream maker! We ordered in Thai food for dinner, served it with some wine, and tested out my homemade ice cream...which was fantastic! I'll be experimenting with some more ice cream recipes before I do an Adventures in Homemade post, so stay tuned!

So, that was my {long} weekend. How was yours?
Have you ever made homemade ice cream? 
What's your favorite flavor to try?

August 15, 2014

Wedding Things XI: One Month!

This Wednesday officially marked the one month count down to our wedding...and I still feel like it's forever far away. I don't feel like our wedding is any closer than I did in June. Isn't that crazy?

With one month to go, I have a few things left to do...all of which I'm hoping to tackle in the next few days:

  • Finish putting together our guest book.
    • I'm honestly just waiting to get paid on this. It will take a trip to the store and approximately 8 seconds.
  • Table number stands. 
    • We printed out our table numbers, which are awesome and ordered stands for them, but they're on back order until after our wedding. We ordered them from somewhere else but they are nowhere to be seen, and now I'm just kind of stuck.
This is what we're trying to order.
  • Bridal Party gifts.
    • I ordered almost everything for the girls. I just have one other thing to pick up and then we can order The Pilot's groomsmen gifts and we'll be all set.
  • Signage
    • Thanks to PicMonkey, I've almost designed all of the signage we need. I just have a few more to work on, including our Ring Bearer's sign.
  • Print programs
    • Thanks to Andrea, these are all set to go (except not because a few things changed this week). Once I send these minor changes off, I can bring them to FedEx for printing.
  • Cupcake stand
    • Get our Marriage License
    • Put together our welcome bags
    • Book the last of our honeymoon hotels
      • We're having a multi-destination honeymoon (which I still haven't told you guys about) and we have one more place to book. 
    So, there are a few things on this list, like I said, I'm hoping to get most of them done this week. Wish me luck! My mom called last weekend to say that my dress is 100%, I guess I can get married now!

    The good thing is that, with the exception of our Marriage License, everything on this list is stuff that we don't actually need to do to get married, so if it doesn't get done, it doesn't get done...but it all will ;)

    August 14, 2014


    Feeling... perplexed. Life threw a curve ball at me this week and I'm doing my best to try and handle it.

    Reading... two books...which I never, ever do but my book club timeline got ahead of me, so I'm reading The Power of Habit and The Glass Castle.

    Drinking... water. I've been so insanely thirsty all week. I wonder if it's my new office?

    Listening to... the Goo Goo all time favorite band.

    Working on... the last of the wedding things that need to get done. My goal is to get them done this weekend. We'll see. 

    Anticipating... a day off. I requested a mental health day for tomorrow. I need it.

    Loving... my new commute. It's the bee's knees. A 15 minute commute is awesome. I wish I could say I'm using the extra time in the morning to be productive but yesterday and today, I snoozed for 2 hours (sorry fiance)...I guess I'm just a little off this week.

    That's what's going on in my world today! Yesterday, we hit the one month mark to our wedding day...and I still feel like it's just as far away as it was in May. Is that normal? 

    Happy Thursday!

    August 13, 2014

    30 Things Every Traveler Must Do Before They're 30

    This weekend, I spent some time cleaning out my computer and my inbox and came across this post I had saved awhile back from It's a list of "30 things every person with a bit of wanderlust must see and do before they're 30."

    As a 27-year-old obsessive list maker with an incurable case of wanderlust, I immediately started counting off how many of these things I've done and decided to turn it into a blog post. So, here goes!

    1. Jump off something.  I zip lined in New Jersey in high school. I've also been cliff diving a a few times. I won't do that again.
    2. See one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Well, the only one of the ancient wonders that still exists is the Great Pyramid of Giza. I haven't been there, but of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World, I've been to: the Channel Tunnel, the CN Tower, the Empire State Building, and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

    Looking up at the CN Tower
    Of the New7Wonders, I've been to the Colossseum and the Taj Mahal. I was a little surprised to see that Stonehenge didn't make this list (even though it is tremendously disappointing). 

    3. Party in Las Vegas. I didn't rage all night or do anything I regretted either time I went to Vegas, but I've definitely had fun there. 
    Vegas '08
    4. Take a vacation that isn't Spring Break. Fact: I think I've only gone on vacation that was Spring Break twice in my life. 
    5. Attend at least one large celebration. Gasparilla 2009. What a mess. It's like Mardi Gras...with pirates.

    6. Hit up a nude beach. I've been to beaches where people are in the nude. I've never strictly been to a nude beach. 
    7. Spend several days with only what will fit into a backpack. I went to the Netherlands, Bosnia, Serbia, Italy, and India with nothing but a backpacker's backpack. Virtually every time I go away for a weekend, I bring a small overnight bag. What can I say? I pack light. 
    8. Swim in the ocean. Both sides of the Atlantic and the Pacific.
    9. Sleep somewhere where you have to light a fire to stay warm. Does it count if you don't actually have a fire? I caught pneumonia in Jamaica from sleeping in a structure with no roof. Fact: it gets crazy cold in Jamaica in the middle of January.

    I also slept in a house with no power for almost a week after Hurricane Sandy hit. We did not light fires in the living room. So, no, I've never slept somewhere where I actually lit a fire to stay warm, but I'm counting my two experiences where a fire would have been delightful. 
    10. Do some sort of adrenaline sport. Do marathons count? What about judo? How about riding a banana boat around the Dominican Republic and flying off the back of it? I've skied twice. I hated it. I also tried water skiing once. My swim suit bottoms fell off.

    I actually bought this photo. The printed version completely wipes out the Capitol.
    I'm crossing this one off because there is no greater adrenaline rush than seeing the finish line of a marathon. Except in Madrid. Where they had 8 finish lines. 
    11. Hit up one of the Caribbean islands. Aruba, Bahama, come on pretty mama. Nah, I haven't been to either of those. Fact: I used to say that my life long goal was to go to every place in the song, Kokomo. Then I found out that Kokomo is not a real place, unless you count Kokomo, Indiana. Which I don't. But I have been to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Grand Cayman.

    12. Take one ultimate road trip. I left Long Island on a sunny morning in July one summer, headed to Jersey and picked up Route 1 where I drove it all the way to Miami. It was awesome.
    13. Go somewhere alone. Rome. India. I would highly advise going to Rome alone. I would not advise going to India alone, especially if you are a woman.

    14. Take a train somewhere. I take a train pretty much every day.
    15. Go to a music festival. I went to a very small, kind of sad little country music festival on Long Island once. I'd like to go to one of the bigger ones though.
    16. Have one iconic Americana experience.
    17. Go to at least one of the Smithsonian museums. Duh. 
    18. Summit a mountain. Nope. 
    19. Be able to name your top five dream vacations.  1) Cuba. 2) Greece. 3) Budapest, Hungary. 4) Riga, Latvia. 5) Kenya or Tanzania (It's a toss up). Easy peasy. 
    20. See a game at a classic ballpark. I've seen games at 22 ball parks. As for the classic ones? I've been to Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Shea Stadium (CitiField is so much better), and the old Yankee Stadium.
    Mom and I at Dodger Stadium
    21. Visit a neighbor to our north or south. I've been to Toronto a couple of times. The Pilot and I took a road trip to Montreal in 2010, and Mom and I visited Mexico when I was in college.

    22. Do something so adventurous it requires a doctor's visit. According to the list, going to a country that requires shots counts. Thankfully, I've never had to visit a doctor in some of the more remote parts of the world I've been to, but I'm basically vaccinated against everything out there that can be vaccinated against. Except for Japanese Encephalitis. I opted out of that one. Scary, I know.
    23. Save pennies to go somewhere you really want to go. I've only really ever saved enough pennies for shopping money. I've always just kind of made it a point to prioritize travel.
    24. Go to New York City. Been there, lived there, done that, bought the t-shirt and burned it. My NYC days are long behind me.
    25. Sleep under the stars.
    26. Eat an iconic city meal.  I've had cheese steaks in Philly, beignets and craw fish in New Orleans, deep dish pizza in Chicago, bagels in New York, cheese curds in Milwaukee, brisket in Texas, Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh, banoffee pie in London, Guiness in get the picture.
    Banoffee Pie. Yum.
    27. Know all of the best places to take tourists in your home city. It's pretty easy to know exactly where to take tourists in DC. Go to the National Mall. See you in 10 hours. I'm still a newbie to DC though, so I tend to take my tourists to all of the eateries I haven't tried yet, but I'm starting to pick my favorites and know the best spots.
    28. Have one close encounter with a wild animal.  This is not one of the smarter things I've ever done. This is me with a live crocodile. In Ghana.

    29. Parachute out of something that is working perfectly fine, for no legitimate reason. Nope, never have, never will.
    30. Know a dance well enough that you could keep up with the locals.  My family are all locals. I can handle myself pretty well when those around me are dancing the salsa or the merengue.

    My older sister and my dad salsa dancing at my brother's wedding. 
    So, that's my list! While most of these things can be done without traveling extensively, it's always fun to say that you've done one of these things somewhere a little off the beaten path!
    What's the craziest thing you've done while traveling?

    August 12, 2014

    Adventures in Homemade: Greek Yogurt

    I pay a lot of attention to what I eat. As both a runner and a pescatarian, it's important to know what I'm putting in my body. Greek Yogurt is one of my favorite things to eat. I eat it for breakfast with fresh berries and granola. I use it a base for salad dressings and smoothies, and bake with it often. 

    But Greek Yogurt is expensive, and spending upwards of $30/week on yogurt really isn't something I'm too keen on. That plus the added sugar in a lot of brands of Greek Yogurt has left me in search of a way to make my own. 

    I've had two failed attempts at making yogurt. The first time, I tried the stove top method and the yogurt came out tasting good, but had entirely too much liquid and literally dripped off the spoon like soup. 

    The second time, I tried a double boiler and exploded a Pyrex dish all over my kitchen...leaving me picking up glass for almost six weeks after the fact.

    This time, I tried the crock pot method which I found on Pinterest and was said to be "foolproof."

    Foolproof, it was!

    I used 2% milk which I brought to 180 degrees in the crock pot. It took about 3 1/2 hours.

    Then, I turned off the pot, brought it back down to 110 degrees, which took another 3 hours. I mixed in the yogurt "starter" (2 tbsp of actual Greek yogurt - I used Oikos Nonfat was all I had). I wrapped it in a towel and tossed it into my oven (cool) and put on the oven light. The next day, I took it out, poured it onto a strainer that was covered in cheese cloth, and let it strain for a 3 hours. 

    Once it was done, I put it into a container, tossed it in the fridge, and this morning I had homemade yogurt with fresh blue berries.

    While the entire process takes about 24 hours from start to finish, it really only took about 10 minutes of actual work. I'll definitely be adding this to my weekend routine so that I have fresh, homemade, no sugar added yogurt whenever I want. Best part? Saving my own yogurt to use as a starter! 

    A few notes: I used vanilla yogurt because it was what I had in the house. My yogurt didn't taste like vanilla, so don't let that inhibit you if you want plain yogurt. My yogurt wasn't as tart as traditional Greek yogurt - I didn't want it that way. To get it more tart, leave it out at room temperature after you've strained the yogurt.

    Lately, I've been experimenting with a lot of "adventures in homemade." Consider this a new series that I'll be posting about as I try my hand at making our kitchen a bit more homemade! 

    Have you ever made your own yogurt?
    What method did you use?

    August 7, 2014


    Feeling... Happy. Today was just one of those morning's when I woke up counting my blessings. It's a good day today.

    Reading... I finally finished reading Reading Lolita in Tehran on the Metro this morning. I was not happy with it and it took me almost a week to get through the last 30 pages because I was so unmotivated to read it. Next up? Andrea's pick for the book club that she invited me to join!

    Drinking... Coffee. It's a necessity this morning...though I probably could have done with only half a cup because now I'm wired.

    Listening to... Anna Kendrick's Cups. It's been awhile since I've heard this one. I love it. I also love that I can listen to music in my new office without speakers and not bother anyone since my new office is in a corner all on its own.

    Working on... a list of things to do after the wedding. It includes seriously gearing up our search for a new apartment, giving this little blog a makeover, and a few other things.

    Anticipating... my bachelorette party this weekend!

    Loving... my new office. It's awesome. The area is awesome, my commute is great, and I just love it.

    Obviously this was before I set anything up. 
    So, that's what's going on in my corner of the world this week! Happy Thursday!

    August 6, 2014

    Site Review: Weddington Way

    When I started looking at bridesmaid dresses, I had one rule: they had to be inexpensive. I didn't want my bridal party paying more than $125 for a dress that they probably would never wear again.

    Of course, I would love to pick a dress that they would wear again, but let's just be realistic for a minute? No one ever wears their bridesmaid dresses again.

    My girls come in all different shapes and sizes and I wanted each of them to be comfortable in whatever they wore, so I wasn't too interested in matching dresses.

    Sometime in the fall, I saw an ad pop up on Facebook for Weddington Way and clicked over. I was really skeptical to shop for bridesmaid dresses online because I had a pretty bad experience the last time I did. (My dress showed up almost three weeks late in terrible condition). I read a lot of reviews about Weddington Way and they were, for the most part, pretty good.

    We don't really have "wedding colors" but I decided to have my ladies wear cobalt blue, mostly at their suggestion.

    When you create an account with Weddington Way, you list your wedding date and can pick dresses to add to your 'showroom' based on style, length, color, price range, etc.

    As you apply those filters, dresses pop into your showroom and you can like them. You can then add your bridesmaids to the showroom and they can choose favorites, comment on them, etc.

    A sneak peak of my 'showroom'
    This was perfect. I have four bridesmaids and two junior bridesmaids. Between the 6 of them, they live in Connecticut, New Jersey and Texas. There was no way I was going to even attempt to get them all together to try on dresses.

    For those interested in having their 'maids wear matching dresses, this is a great option, because they can rank their top dresses and you can choose what the most popular dress is among your ladies.

    For me, once I applied all of the filters, I decided on a collection, picked my favorites from there and let the girls choose among those. They took their measurements, submitted them, and ordered their dresses!

    The best part? The coupons. None of the girls paid full price for their dresses. I follow the Weddington Way blog and entered their monthly contests to get discount codes which I distributed among the girls, so they all got great deals on their dresses.

    I had my bridesmaids order their dresses first. On my Dashboard, it showed me each bridesmaid, whether she had ordered her dress, and when it was scheduled to ship.

    I had been planning to order my Junior Bridesmaid dresses from somewhere else since I found them cheaper, but ended up coming back to Weddington Way, especially after my bridesmaids got their dresses three weeks before they were scheduled to ship and WW price matched the JB dresses! All of the girls were really happy with their dresses and only two of them need alterations.

    My only complaint is that you can't try the dresses on. While they guarantee the fit, we've all seen a dress that we've fallen in love with only to realize that it just doesn't look right on you. They have a few 'try before you buy' dresses but the selection is limited. In addition, you have to pay $20 to try these dresses ($30 for two) and that payment is not applied to the total cost of the dress if you don't buy it.

    Despite this, as I said, everyone's dresses fit them, with only minor alterations needed, but it's something I know I was skeptical about the first time I tried to order a bridesmaid dress without trying it on first.

    Overall, I would absolutely recommend Weddington Way to anyone who has bridesmaids traveling from all over the place and wants high quality dresses without the heavy price tag.

    Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this review. 

    Have you tried Weddington Way for bridesmaid dresses?
    Interested in trying it? Here's a referral link. 

    August 4, 2014

    Bridal Shower Weekend!

    My mom is not an easy person to say 'no' too. Especially when she's standing in front of me pinning the final touches on my wedding dress (that she made) and saying, "Ok, I made your wedding dress, now you have to let me throw you a bridal shower."

    I really didn't want to have a bridal shower. My mom really wanted to throw me a bridal shower, so I let her, and it was beautiful. It was at this unbelievable Latin restaurant near my mom's house that I've been wanting to go to for awhile and the food was perfection. Coconut rice, skirt steak, passion fruit desserts...I was in heaven.

    College Roommates/Mom and Sis
    The Pilot's family was there (along with mine, of course) and one of my roommates from college even surprised me and came! My mom asked everyone to bring a favorite recipe to share which she compiled into an album for me so that I have family recipes from everyone in the family, which is really special!

    While I was opening my gifts, my grandma kept shaking her head at me saying, "Oh, see you have this beautiful shower, you got these beautiful gifts and here you didn't want a shower." Ok, grandma, you win.

    After the shower, I spent the rest of the night split between my mom's, aunt's and grandma's houses before calling it a night.

    Sunday morning, my mom took me shopping for honeymoon clothes and I found some great outfits! We spent the day out shopping and then headed home for lunch before The Pilot stumbled over from his bachelor party and we made the journey back to DC.

    It was a great weekend, and it was so exciting to say to everyone, "See you at the wedding!"

    Less than 6 weeks to go!

    August 1, 2014


    Feeling... Productive...rare for a Friday in the summer, but...I woke up this morning and just tackled the day. Love it.

    Reading... Lolita in Tehran. I have 80 some pages left and I feel like it's never going to end. I really don't like this book. It has no centralized plot, parts of it are interesting, and other parts are mind numbingly boring.

    Eating... a cranberry scone.

    Drinking... a cappuccino...which it is way too hot for.

    Working on... our office move...which didn't happen yesterday. If you need recommendations for an office moving company, I can tell you exactly who not to call.

    Anticipating... a trip home, a final dress fitting, and seeing my grandma, who took a nasty fall this week.

    Loving... the realization that WE ARE GETTING MARRIED NEXT MONTH! Wow, I just realized that!

    Happy Friday!
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