Friday, October 31, 2014

Weekly Round Up

We've done it again, made it to Friday! After another busy week I am so glad for the weekend and especially with having a lot to celebrate. Here are some highlights from this week not to miss...

1. My Best Friend's Wedding
As I've already excitedly shared, one of  my best friends is getting married this weekend and I am so excited to celebrate and be a part of this special day! Now that all my best gals from growing up are going to be hitched I'm feeling a bit old...

2. Spider Dog
I have no words. You just need to go and watch this awesome video, I promise that you won't be disappointed!

3. #TS1989
Alright, who else downloaded 1989 on Monday with me? I was so pumped for TSwift's new album and it met my expectations and more. It's fun, upbeat, and catchy. That girl is just as smart as she is talented with the smooth transition she made from country to pop. I know it was in her this whole time and she was just waiting to release it to the world!
ps. Definitely consider adding it to your workout playlist like I recommended earlier

4. Real Love is a Choice
With four months of marriage under me (but feeling more like years since not too much has changed!) I'm no one to give a lot of advice yet, but I absolutely love this article. I think it's so easy to get caught up with the love you see in the media or displayed in movies--and that's not real love. Real love is hard, it takes work and compromise and it's not always pretty. There are so many people I know, myself included, who are sometimes jaded by this and it's a great reminder.

5. Big Dreams
I just can't stop now that I've started! If you didn't read yesterday's post, then go read it. Now that I've finally started taking some actionable steps towards big dreams I've had for a while I can't do anything but think about them and get excited. There will be plenty to more to share in time.

Happy Friday y'all and enjoy yourselves tonight for Halloween whether you're throwing down with friends, or on your couch with a big bowl of candy!

Linking up with Lauren for H54F

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Big Dreams

I created this draft a while ago and have slowly added to it, like a secret online diary I wasn't quite sure I could share with the world. Not sure what gave me the urge to finally hit publish this morning, maybe my extra strong coffee,  #TS1989 blaring as I work, or an extra little nudge from Jess Lawlor's Get Gutsy Newsletter in my inbox reminding me to step outside of my comfort zone. All of those things together were probably a good recipe to finally take the plunge.

My first few years working full-time have been a huge period of reflection for me. I absolutely love my job and have no plans to change things up any time soon, but I do have plans to venture into the life of side hustling. I've always had such a passion to create, build, and own--projects, programs, anything really. The more I read about entrepreneurs, devour Inc. every month, and learn about awesome ladies who are rockin' it out there on their own I am convinced that it's time to finally take a leap.

While my current job is a wonderful fit for me, I have such a diverse array of interests and throughout all of my almost 27 years I've had a hard time with this, especially throughout education. It's difficult to think about pursuing a variety of opportunities instead of taking the "normal" societal approach to find your niche and stick with it. As a career advisor, I'm taking my own good advice that I share with students everyday: your 9-5 job is not your life. It's not the beginning and end of your work, or you, or what you do. There is life outside of that and plenty of opportunities to continue exploring.

Now that I've gotten you all excited I'm sorry to share that I'm not quite ready to spill the beans on what's to come--but I am over the moon excited about it, and thrilled to finally share it more broadly than just with Mr. Young and a friend that I dreamed up this dream with. There's a lot I'm tackling in the next few months to learn everything I can and kick things off and two of these things I'm most excited for are the Creative at Heart Conference and Jess' 30 Days of Gutsy email course.

Even though I'm not putting it all out there yet, there is a way for you to help me out. For any of my Virginia readers (especially those in the Richmond area) who are currently engaged or have been married in the past three years, shoot me an email at chasingyoungblog[at]gmail[dot]com if you're interested and I'll share more information. It's nothing time intensive but will be extremely helpful for my current project, if you don't fit into that category and know someone who does I would be extremely grateful if you could pass the word along.

Phew! It's so exciting to have all of this out there--and to know that I'm now going to be held accountable to living up to these big dreams of mine. If you've had an idea or dream that you want to pursue I urge you to take the first step, whether that's taking time to sit down and get your thoughts out on paper or something more actionable like speaking with someone doing similar work to learn more. After dreaming up this dream on a snowy day last winter I'm excited to start making it a reality!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Fun

Last week was one of the craziest at work this semester and I am glad to have it behind me! Lots of wonderful student programs, but I'm excited to hopefully catch up on sleep and emails soon. Thank goodness daylight savings time is this weekend, holla for an extra hour of sleep!

After Mr. Young and I both worked all day Saturday we got to have a little play time on Sunday with my parents who were in town visiting. We headed up to Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville and luckily it wasn't raining like last year.

It was however incredibly crowded and swarming with children and we actually had a tough time finding apples. We had to dig deep into the orchard rows and there were a few times Mr. Young had to hoist me up to grab apples from the top of the trees, which I thought made things a bit more fun!

At the end of the day we did get a decent number of apples though and of course didn't leave without fresh hot apple cider doughnuts #sugarcoma. After making apple cinnamon muffins with last year's crop of apples I'm wondering what to make this time around. Any suggestions for your favorite apple recipes? I'm not sure I would be up for a pie but was maybe thinking about an apple crisp, or maybe applesauce in the crockpot? Would love to hear your favorites!

Even though we're still in October I feel like fall is quickly getting away with seeing so many bare trees already and the temperatures finally dropping. I honestly wouldn't mind if it just stayed like it is currently until spring comes again, but I have a feeling we're in store for another nasty winter with how mild this summer was.

For now we'll enjoy what's left of fall so don't be one of those people getting into the holidays until we savor and finish this season! We've been so incredibly busy we haven't had the most time for fun fall activities--what are your favorite things to do in the fall and especially any local Virginia suggestions?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekly Round Up #TGIF

It's the return of weekly round up! This time around I'm not thinking about just awesome articles and information I've found throughout the week, but a top five round up that will include that and more about the past week. And I can't sing enough #TGIF praises this week, seriously!

1.  Ashley Brooke Designs--New Mugs!
This has been the week for following ABDesigns. The Amy Poehler mug giveaway was awesome to see, and then a whole new line of mugs? I am digging the "Go Big or Go Home" one, might need to be the next addition to my adorable mug collection.

2.  There's More to Life Than Being Happy
I sat down and took the time to read through and reflect on this article. Especially with the career oriented work I do, there are many conversations I have with students tied to this subject of happiness vs. meaning and I see it playing out among people I know and of course all over social media. Highly encourage you to take a few seconds to read it.

3. THIS Kate Spade Inspired Wedding
Don't need many words here. I cannot stop oohing and ahhing over every bit of it. Well, except those massive paper flowers at the ceremony. But the rest of these details have my heart swooning!

4. Early Morning Runs
I got my act together to get up and run this week and it's been glorious! I've missed watching the sunrise and getting to take advantage of this beautiful quiet time with myself before the rush of the day. Hopefully these extra miles put in will make my long run this week even sweeter.

5. Family Visits
I've gotten to see almost all of my family this week! My sister stopped by on her way up from college for fall break and even if just a for a few hours it was nice to cuddle on the couch and catch up, or did we cuddle on the couch watching HGTV and fall asleep? Whoops! My parents are coming tonight to stay the weekend in Richmond and I can't wait to see them, share some wonderful meals together, and go on a fall adventure!

What's been a highlight of your week? Any great news, articles, or pieces of happy to share? Would love to hear them! Pour yourself some extra coffee and make this Friday great!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Training" Update

Just as planned I will still be running the American Family Fitness Half Marathon here in Richmond in just under three weeks. Unfortunately I will no longer be running the race with Team in Training, though I still am continuing to fundraise for the organization and everything already donated still goes straight to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

This was definitely not the season for me to run another half! Truth be told I really could have gotten myself in shape to do it, but was lazy during the summer enjoying my freedom from wedding planning. I still wanted to run the race but didn't find the best fit with the team training so opted not to re-commit to my hefty fundraising goal.

Scenes from this weekend's long run
I've previously talked about the reasons why I enjoy running and one of those is that it's an individual thing for me. While I have lined up by myself at starting lines and felt a twinge of envy at pairs and groups of running buddies I know that I'd prefer to be by myself. I want to go at my own pace and only have myself to worry about. I thought that I could get in the groove but it just didn't click into place, I want to train when I want at my own pace and in the areas that I want to run.

House of Cards is what has kept me going with indoor runs!
I'm grateful for all of the support I've had in training for this second race but will have to admit I'm getting sick of answering questions about how it's going--because it's not! Being lazy I started way too late to really get running and so am hoping to get to eight or nine miles before race day, but we'll see what happens. I'll probably end up walking big chunks of the race and am OK with that, I'm just trying to get to the finish line no matter how it happens. Nothing will be as satisfying as the first half marathon that I ran, that was the big achievement and now I get to do it with a bit less pressure.

Who else is planning to run some races this fall? Let's band together for some extra motivation!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Motivation: The Great Return

For the first time since May 2010 I went an entire month without blogging. Before this there was always at least one post, even when I busy I would think "you can't look back at the archives and have nothing for this month!" But nothing is what you will find for September 2014. And I'd have to say I feel great about it.

After the craziest summer (ya know just gettin' married and going on a big 'ole fabulous honeymoon to the Mediterranean!) and coming back to a crazy new academic year with big changes in our staff and new job responsibilities blogging was on the backburner.

During my training runs for my upcoming half-marathon I've thought a bit about why I didn't have the urge to blog and few things came to mind. First, I just didn't feel like it was my space. My last blog designer did a great job but at the end of the day it didn't feel like me. Hence the shiny new layout and branding making me feel more like a grown up. Secondly, I was living life. While I've always loved documenting certain parts of my life through this blog there have always been plenty of unpublished moments. But missing my outlet for creativity and the fact that I love to poke through my archives going back to previous points of life has me back.

While I've shared this particular piece of motivation before, it's one of my favorites and I try to keep it close as a daily reminder. A reminder that every day I am not going to accomplish something big and amazing. And that life doesn't have to be grand and spectacular to be enjoyable.

I think one can easily get caught up in the game of the internet. You know, the one where everyone posts happy, shiny, positive things and perfectly posed and edited pictures. Sometimes a good break is in need to remember why I specifically choose to blog and what exactly this blog is for me. Yeah, you could say I'm an over-analyzer. I do not live to blog, but blog about the beautiful life that I have.

So take a few minutes to really let these words sink in for you today and remember to enjoy the day ahead.