Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wedding Bells

I am so excited to leave at the crack of dawn early tomorrow morning and head south to FL to be in my friend Morgan's wedding! She is getting married on the beach in Key West and it couldn't be any more perfect for her and her husband to be who have been together since high school (so sweet!). 

Morgan is one of my Tri Sigma sisters and we met when we both worked as consultants for our organization the year after college. We were paired together to work with a few different chapters and this is where Morgan and I really hit it off. We were that odd complimentary pair that worked perfectly together, where one left off the other picked up. Between our skill sets and Morgan's sassy nature we had such a blast on the road.

She's the second of the ladies in the Wolfpack to get married, the last time we were together was last November for our friend Michele's wedding in Chicago. 

We shared a big fat b*$%& sandwich from Are U Hungry and lots of Peachy Paterno ice cream at the creamery while we were at Penn State. At High Point University I introduced the Central Illinois native to Cookout and Bojangles, both of which she loved. 

Even though it's been over two years since we've traveled we still keep in touch and have seen each other several times since then. In college I would have never though I would have such great friends in Tri Sigma that weren't from my own chapter, but Morgan and the entire group of gals we traveled with are just that.

I absolutely cannot wait to share your wedding with you Morg, standing by your side on the beautiful beach is going to be another wonderful memory to add to our friendship. Here's to the soon-to-be Mrs. Kaplan!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall in the South

So maybe I didn't really need the scarf on Sunday, it was 64* and I was wearing flip flops. But isn't that what fall in the South is all about? That and Palmetto trees on your pumpkins. Muchos gracias to Mr. Charming for capturing our first pumpkin experience together. And by together I mean me scraping out the guts and completely carving the pumpkin while he took pictures and made sure our cats didn't jump off the balcony.

Ewww squishy
Nice & clean!

Typical tourist
Yes, we are missing a "1" on our wreath...
Things I learned: using a Sharpie to outline on your pumpkin is a poor decision because you'll still see it after you carve...luckily I realized that after carving the top of it. Additionally, I learned through these pictures I really need to let go of some items of my wardrobe that I'm still wearing even though they're now far too big for me.

On that note, anyone out there interested in funding me to buy some new properly sized clothes? Happy fall y'all!

Monday, October 15, 2012

No Time for Words

It's been pretty busy around here lately, and I have some fun news to share soon about it all! The last week in photos...

Love watching the trees start to change outside of my office
I'm a lucky gal :)
Best Friday night I could have asked for
Finally took some time to explore downtown Richmond this weekend
Have been doing some major nomming lately
Happy Monday folks, let's make it a good one!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hello Fall, Nice to See You Again

So, it got cold yesterday. I'm talking 45* on the way to work in the morning, and 50* on the way home. My mini heater was on in my office all day. It was 66* in the house when I got home (brrrr!), so I kept my jacket and scarf on for a while after officially turning the heat on and waiting for it to kick in.

When I've complained about colder temps to people they always gasp, well you're from the north! First, let's get one thing straight folks: Maryland is not the north. It is below the Mason-Dixon line for one thing, and while I'll admit it's not typically in the grouping of states you'd consider to be "south" it's also most definitely not "north". Additionally, my county flag has a tobacco leaf and my high school was surrounded by fields of it...definitely not north.

Anyways back to my point, yes I'm from Maryland which is pretty much the same weather wise as Richmond. Butttt I lived in North & South Carolina for the past eight-ish years. There was this one year where fall and winter was spent in the Midwest, but I don't like to think about that time as much as I loved the actual experiences of that year.

There were some years where I missed the leaves changing (my college was covered in pines) and getting to bundle up in light fall clothes. But then I got to go to the beach in November or wear shorts in January and it snapped me back in place. I'll just go out there and admit it...

I'm scared of this winter. 

But for right now I'll enjoy what fall has to offer and hope that it just slightly warms back up (high 50s, low 60s--please?) for a while before winter really comes. Because I actually do love fall. I love pumpkins, warm colors, squashes and anything with cinnamon or spice.

I love getting to make dishes like this...even though cutting up squash is a b*$^#.
Look for a recipe on this week's Foodie Friday!
I love getting to wear fall colors and breaking my boots out of summer hibernation!

So I think instead of running away I'm going to start embracing fall and winter. I'm going to be that total cliche blogger and potentially make some season bucket lists. Also so I can research fun places to go around Richmond during the seasons. Hello pumpkin patches!

Are you bitter about chillier weather or totally loving fall yet?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cupcakes + Laziness = Whomp Whomp

Working with college students is a fine balance between providing guidance and advising for them to reach their goals, while also ensuring they have some experiences where they can learn on their own. You can give them a list of ingredients that's missing a few main items, and then they'll learn that if you forget the sugar from your cake--it's not going to be pretty.

College is a time for trial and error, learning from your mistakes, and using that knowledge for sweet successes. It's been an exciting week of students in my office with news of job offers, second round interviews, leads on internships or the conclusion that they really don't want to go to med school. But what's important about these successes, is the hard work and learning along the way that got them there.

Unfortunately you would think that someone who is involved in assisting others through a process like this would also learn about their limits. Wrong! And then I did this...

After my broken/sprained/whatever toe I used it as an excuse to literally not even pick up a 3 lb weight this week. I did nothing, nada. Each day I had the hopes of doing something the day after, and then I didn't. Instead I ate dinner out twice, along with two lunches at the campus dining hall. Oh and I think I forgot that extra sugary, buttery cupcake and Sweet Frog last night...

Somehow I thought I could act like this all week and then get up and bounce out the door on a great three mile run this morning. I think hitting five miles last week made me feel a bit invincible. I barely made it to two miles and stopped several times. It. felt. awful.

So now I hope I'll learn from this and get my act together this week. I think it's definitely going to be a hard week getting back into the groove, I can honestly feel the different in my body after just seven days

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Can you guess which cereal is mine and which ones are Mr. Charming's? And not by the type of cereal...

There are definitely a few things to get used to when living with a guy and this has been one of them. Thankfully we don't eat the same kinds of cereal.

Made me laugh when I opened up our cabinet this morning. Happy Wednesday friends!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Top 5 Tuesday: Blogging Tips

It's hard to believe that this little 'ole blog started more than two years ago! I have such fun time chronicling my travels, adventures in the kitchen, and my new found love affair with running. Everyone blogs for a different reason, I blog to remember. I've tried to keep a journal too many times to count, and it's just not for me. I do however, like to look at back at memories and what I was thinking during certain parts in my life.

Blogging gives me that and more because I can share it with those I love that I can't see or talk to everyday, and now to new blogging friends as well. Even things as simple as looking back at what substitutions or adjustments I made to a recipe, or steps I took to make a craft, are so worthwhile for me.

There are a few tips that I think every blogger should take note of, and it took me a while to catch on to some of these so no worries if you're thinking "Oh, that's ME!" So go take a look at your settings, and adjust accordingly!

1. No-Reply Commenters. Don't be one--plain and simple! What does this mean? Sometimes my lovely readers will leave me comments, and I like to respond via email. However, if you don't have a simple little box clicked then I can't respond to you, bummer. Easy as pie to fix...
     -Go to edit your Blogger Profile
     -Check the "Show my email address" box--that's it!

2. Word Verification. Ever go to comment on a post and then you have to type those obnoxious letters and numbers that you can barely see into a box to prove you're not a robot? I typically still comment, but sometimes I honestly won't go through the hassle. Disable it with these steps:
    -"Settings" to "Posts and Comments"
    -Under "Show word verifcation" select "no" from the dropdown--ta da!

3. Follow Me! For my friends on blogger, when I find your site and fall in love with it I of course want to be your newest follower and fan. However, when I have to scroll down to the bottom of your side bar to see the "follow" button I sometimes don't make it. I haven't done any research but I feel like the higher it is on your page, you're more likely to get more followers!

4. About Me. I've just found your blog, I love the posts I've read and you have the cutest design! But I want to know...who are you? I really enjoy reading the "About Me" page on blogs and learning a bit about the author, what they like, what they typically blog about and other random facts. It might be my deciding factor in whether or not I continue to follow.

5. Bloglovin'. I have no clue how I just discovered this site a few weeks ago, but needed to share with the world. I had heard of it, and seen the buttons on different blogs but hadn't explored it. It's my new favorite reader. I like to read all different blogs on all different hosting sites and it lets you conveniently add almost any blog that you'd like. You can view the actual site within the bloglovin' frame and just hit "next" to go further down your list. It's made keeping up with my favorite blogs so much easier. Consider putting a button on your page--and going to the one on my right sidebar and clicking "follow"!

Hope this can be helpful for ya! What other tips do you have for fellow bloggers? Anything along these lines I don't have put in place that drives you bonkers?

Monday, October 1, 2012

This Little Piggy...

...should be the one that goes to the doctor. I'm pretty sure that doesn't even happen in the song does it?

I need a pedicure like whoah--don't judge
Well, it should anyways.

Now that I've grossed you out, let's actually rewind to Saturday. Guess what I did that day? I ran this many...

For the first. time. ever. Seeing "five" on my training schedule was pretty daunting considering a few things:
1. I've never ran more than four miles at once
2. My long run of four miles last week in Columbia was absolutely awful

But I got up early on Saturday, ate something decent, chugged some water and headed out to meet my running group. Since it was Family Weekend on campus, we did an off campus run on Grove Ave. which is an absolutely gorgeous road full of amazing old houses and other fun scenery. I've driven down it a few times, but I knew it would be a good thing for my run. Just Google some houses on that road, so nice.

It was cool outside and wore a nice workout tank which made me feel much like a runner than my typical t-shirt. I even went back to my "Alternative Endurance Workout" Pandora station and enjoyed some chill tunes as opposed to GirlTalk. I pretended that I was looking for a house and took in anything and everything about each one I saw. I crossed the paths of many more runners, walkers, bikers, and a few annoying families with multiple strollers and dogs (really?).

Once I ran over a bridge that took me across I-64 and I recognized the directional signs on the highway from when I drive downtown, I felt so legit. I kept my eyes peeled for the cross street that was supposed to signal me to turn around, but it was on the other side of the road. Once I ran into our running group leader (who had a much longer run) I knew I should turn around, so I actually ran 5.2.

When someone came on my Nike + to let me know I had reached my goal I was so happy it was crazy. I was smiling like a goof, and it gave me the extra motivation to keep going as I wasn't back at our original meeting place due to missing my cross street. For the first time I thought about the half marathon I'm running in February and I didn't feel panicked. Honestly, I felt like I could have kept going.

I made it back to the church we began at, stretched and chatted with some group mates before leaving. After a nice shower and getting myself together I even treated myself to the first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season...

I even got whipped cream--I can't remember the last time I said "yes please!" when the friendly barista asked if I cared for it. After I got it and had a sip I turned to Mr. Charming and said "I feel so naughty!" It was so wonderful to treat myself after accomplishing my goal. Now that I've hit 5 miles I'm going to focus on  shaving off some time on my pace before the 8k in November.

So are you still wondering about my toe? Well yesterday I was pretty hyper and asked MC if I could try and pick him up because I was also feeling like the Incredible Hulk. It didn't work--so maybe a piggy back? As I attempted, we're not quite sure what happened but my foot hit him and/or our coffee table. I noticed that it hurt when I shoved it in a pair of flats to go down to a sorority meeting at VCU last night and this morning it was swollen.

My idiot self still tried to shove in a shoe yet again to go to work, and by the time I got there I was hobbling. I grabbed a pair of sandals on the way out the door so thankfully slipped into those. So I'm not too sure I'll get my four miles in tomorrow, I may sub some quality time on the bike to get in some cardio.

I still can't believe that I ran five miles without dying, and I still can't believe that my toe looks like it lost a fight. But hey, I guess ya win some, ya lose some right?