Another Year Older

6 Sep

This past Thursday was my birthday, and I said goodbye to 27 and welcomed 28 with open arms. My 27th year was a great one, but I have a feeling 28 will top it.

Hello, fall

Hello, fall

I love my birthday for many obvious reasons (hello cake, champagne and presents!), but one reason is because my birthday is at the same time of year when the seasons are changing. It may not be fall officially, but the trees are starting to turn colors, the nights are getting a bit breezy and I can’t help but dream of boots and scarves (my favorite fall accessories). It really feels like a time of reflection and renewal.

With all sorts of changes happening in this next year for me, my friends and my family, I’m going to do my best to enjoy the ride and the unexpected twists and turns. But you know me–I have to have some sort of organization to my life. So for my birthday, I ordered myself this little beauty…

Source: lillypulitzer.com

Source: lillypulitzer.com

Here are 8 things I’m looking forward to in my 28th year:

  1. Running in the Akron relay with my coworkers. 5.5 miles, here I come!
  2. Kicking off fall with my best friend’s birthday celebration and seeing friends get married.
  3. Visiting my sister in Chicago for a long weekend full of site-seeing, shopping and rugby (guess which part Nick’s looking forward to most)!
  4. Celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas in our new home.
  5. Continuing to commit to my workouts and get that bikini body ready for the big day.
  6. A wonderful shower with family and friends.
  7. A bomb-ass bachelorette party with all my best girlfriends in Chicago.
  8. Our wedding! And tropical honeymoon (still in the works, but it’s looking like Jamaica!).

With that, I’m off to a business trip in the fabulous Las Vegas! Have a great week, friends!

What are you looking forward to this fall?

My Gym Plan, Bridal Style

20 Aug
Source: Free People Blog

Source: Free People Blog

 

I’ve had a lot of these moments lately, so it’s not a surprise this quote spoke to me when I saw it earlier this week, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Between getting engaged, having my sister move away, moving my home and starting to plan a wedding, these past few months have been emotional. Between the tears of joy and often overwhelming moments, I find myself panicking and wondering if I’m truly living in the moment as much as I can. I know I will look back on this year (and next year) as some of the sweetest, most poignant times. And I don’t want to waste one minute.

One of the best parts about being in this great limbo (a few months after an engagement with still many months ahead before the wedding), is that I still have time to plan, envision, dream, scheme and … workout!

But first, let me take a selfie

But first, let me take a selfie

Despite the crazy summer (there’s always excuses to skip workouts!), I’ve been trying my hardest to get a head start on “bridal bootcamping” and keep up with my fitness. Bottom line–I don’t want to wake up on New Year’s Day after binge eating my way through the holidays with a lot of work ahead of me to get wedding ready. So I’m starting now!

  • I joined the YMCA. The first day in our new town, Nick and I signed up at our local YMCA. I canceled my membership at Planet Fitness, and I have to say that I think the extra monthly fee is completely worth it! The workout equipment at our Y is top-notch and the classes are great. If you’re thinking of joining, definitely request a walk through and ask what the best price is that they can offer you–they worked with us to give us something very reasonable!
  • I’m still running with my running buddy. Even though we’re now about 25 minutes away from one another, my running partner and I are committing to maintaining our weekly runs. I know it will get harder as winter approaches, but it’s really helping to keep me on track. Running is always more fun with a good girlfriend and good gossip!
  • I’m cooking a lot more. It might be a combination of now being out in the burbs away from the great restaurants and wanting to save money, but I’m making homemade food a lot more often and have committed to making our lunches and dinners from whole, fresh ingredients. Our wallet and waistlines are thanking us–it’s a win win. On the menu this week: these peanut noodles!
  • I’m in a walking challenge. My company is challenging all of us to hook ourselves to a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day. It sounds crazy, but even being a runner, it’s extremely hard to get that step count per day! I may not be meeting that goal all the time, but it’s definitely making me more conscious of my activity level.

And with that, I’m off to go for a walk. Have a great week!

What are some of your favorite healthy habits?

Thankful: Summer Edition

8 Aug

Happy Friday, everyone! Today, I’m thankful it’s the end of the week and we have a gorgeous weekend ahead of us. Did you hear that, Clevelanders? We have nothing but sunshine and good weather coming our way tonight, tomorrow and Sunday. How are you planning to take advantage?

But this post isn’t about the weather, although it’s fabulous. This post is about an extreme life change my family went through this past week–my baby sister moved to Chicago.

The OU grad this past May

The OU grad this past May

OK, maybe she’s not a baby. Actually, she’s 22 and quite grown up, but she’ll always be six years younger than me, and I’ll always feel like she’s half my sister and half my baby. I mean, I helped change her diapers and feed her pureed prunes when I was six. That counts for something, right?

I promised myself I wouldn’t cry writing this, so I’m going to make this quick. Here goes nothing.

This blog is dedicated to my sweet little sister Camille. As much as I am supposed to teach you about life as your big sister, you’ve probably taught me even more. And even though this move is most likely temporary (2016, where are you?) Cleveland feels like it has a huge gaping hole in it this week with you not here.

I know you’re going to do awesome in school, because you’ve always been smart and gotten good grades. And you’re going to make a ton of great, new friends because that’s always come naturally to you–way more naturally to you than me. Just do me one favor and never lose that sweet-as-pie side to you that makes you so different from the rest of the world.

Chicago is a big, scary city. Something I’ve certainly never experienced by myself, and I give you credit for having the courage for following your dreams out there. Never let someone tell you that you can’t do something, and most certainly always follow your heart. It will never lead you astray. And when you’re ready, we’ll be here in Cleveland waiting for you.

So today, I’m thankful for my sister. For teaching me what following your dreams is all about. For displaying courage even when she may be uncertain of what lies ahead. For being the best sister I could ask for–no matter how many miles separate us (for now).

Cheers to the weekend and to the future! Next week I’ll be posting an update on my new gym and running schedule …. until next time!

What I’ve Been Up To (Since April)

30 Jul

Hello, my long lost friends!  I owe you a big apology. If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t written in this blog for almost FOUR months. That’s insane. And it completely goes against one of my New Year’s resolutions to keep this blog up to date. But the good news? I’ve been busy, busy, busy and checked every one of my springtime plans off my list. Including something that seemed like just a daydream last time I blogged…

In Tremont, where we had our first date

In Tremont, where we had our first date

…We got engaged!

On April 17, Nick asked me to marry him—and I couldn’t say yes fast enough! I was completely shocked, and not only am I in love with the ring he picked out for me, but I can’t wait to be his wife. Nick challenges me to be a better person, loves me for all my flaws and has been by my side through the ups and downs life has thrown at us. I can’t imagine sharing my life with anyone more wonderful.

Although I won’t bore you by turning this into a full on wedding planning blog, I will try to share with you some details as we plan the big day (which is late next spring!).

But enough about that! Here are some highlights on what’s been keeping me busy these past few months.

  • Running the Cleveland 10 Miler. Yes, we ran it! It was a cold windy day at the end of April, but my running buddy and I pushed through and ended up getting close to our time we did two years prior. And despite my recent move, we’ve dedicated ourselves to running together about once a week—it makes my heart happy.
  • Fun wedding planning. A week after we got engaged, we selected our venue and set our date. About a month later, I found my dress and my bridesmaids’ dresses. One of my favorite daydreams is imagining Nick’s reaction when he sees me on our big day—I may be biased, but my dress is dreamy!
  • Moving. At the end of June, we made the trek to the burbs, and I have to say, we don’t hate it. Living together, although it was a bit of an adjustment, is really, really fun. I love waking up together every morning. I also love having central air and a dishwasher for the first time in three years.
  • Drinking beer at the Tremont Ale Fest. If you didn’t go this year, put this on your to-do list for next summer—most fun festival I’ve been to in a long time! My favorites? A beer that was mixed with fresh grapefruit juice and a beer that tastes like a chocolate milkshake.
  • Taking my future niece to the zoo. Nick and I spent a fun-filled Sunday with his niece at the ClevelandMetroparks Zoo and had a blast. Seeing all the animals through a 3-year-old’s eyes is truly magical. We’re already planning our next outing. Any suggestions?

    Meerkat silliness

    Meerkat silliness

Phew! I think those are the highlights. I promise I’m back for good this time—except for the wedding and honeymoon next year. ;) Have a great Wednesday!

What’s been your favorite summer activity so far?

Spring Daydreams & Plans

2 Apr

Hi everyone! It’s been two weeks since I posted, but it seems like forever. I missed you!

These past couple weeks have been hectic, to say the least. Work is extremely busy, and paired with my training schedule (and trying to maintain somewhat of a social life), it’s been quite the journey. But I’m happy to say that I’ve kept up with workouts, and last Saturday, I ran six miles for the first time in a while, and it felt great. I almost forgot the sense of accomplishment that comes with running for a full hour.

And thankfully, my running buddy and I got our run out of the way before the crazy snow came! What in the world was that all about? I know earlier this year I wrote a blog post about how we should all stop complaining about the cold weather, but now it’s official. I’m over it.

And most importantly, so is Timmy. I mean, just look at that face! He wants absolutely nothing to do with it. Unamused.

Seriously? This stuff again? I've forgotten what grass looks like.

Seriously? This stuff again? I’ve forgotten what grass looks like.

And just like that, the skies cleared, and it was warmer. The warm breeze and sun yesterday got me thinking Spring. Here are a few things I plan to do to make this season a great one:

  • Go to the zoo. I want to take Nick’s niece to see all the animals. The zoo is always fun, but even more so with little kids!
  • Clean and organize. Warmer weather inspires me to Spring clean. I can’t wait to throw my windows open and get my entire place sparkling.
  • Have a drink on a patio. Nothing beats the warm sun on your face and a margarita in your hand.

    Or this. This will do too.

    Or this. This will do too.

  • Run, run, run! It will be SO nice to not bundle up for our Saturday morning runs and get stung with the cold air. Bring on the shorts.
  • Find a new home! It’s time, people! We’re starting the search this Friday, and by early summer, I’ll be saying goodbye to my bachelor(ette) pad. Bitter sweet.
  • Drink iced coffee! After every Saturday run, we go to Dunkin’ Donuts, but it’s been so cold lately, I haven’t had it in me to get my drink iced. I can’t wait to go back to my tried and true!

    Spring 2013 in Athens, Ohio. Ahhh...

    Spring 2013 in Athens, Ohio. Ahhh…

What can’t you wait to do this Spring?

Have a great week!

My Top 5 CLE Spots & Week 4 Check-In

19 Mar

Hey everyone! It’s been a busy week so far, and it’s only halfway through! Above all, I’m so happy that the sun was shining yesterday. Even though it was quite chilly in the evening, I got out for a 3-miler, and it was so worth it! I saw my turkey neighbor again, but she kept her distance and all was good. Maybe we’ve come to a mutual understanding: You leave me alone, I don’t scream so loud your ears ring for days.

Last week’s training was a little bit lighter. I did an hour of yoga on Monday and Thursday, followed by a 2-miler Saturday. This weekend, we’re stepping it up with a 5-miler, and I’m so excited. We’re halfway through the training schedule!

That said, has everyone visited www.thisiscle.com?  I may be behind the curve, but I recently stumbled upon it and was so inspired. I love my city, and it’s great to see a website that is dedicated to our great home. A local blogger posted her five favorite places in Cleveland, so it got me thinking about my top five. Here goes nothing! In no particular order…

  1. Jacob’s Field. I don’t care if it’s now technically Progressive Field, it’s still “The Jake” to me. I have nothing but fun memories there, and let’s be honest: dollar hot dogs, ice cold beer and baking in the sun watching the Indians is a combo that can’t be beat. Sigh. I can’t wait for summer.

    The hottest Indians game EVER (July 4, 2012)

    The hottest Indians game EVER (July 4, 2012)

  2. Lakewood Park. Living so close to this Cleveland gem is truly a blessing. The park is beautiful, and the views of downtown and the lake are breathtaking—especially in the winter. Some of my favorite nights include strolls through the park watching the sunset.
  3. East 4th Street. Every time I go to East 4th, I’m reminded how cool this city is. Great restaurants, a comedy club and wine on tap (hellloooo, Greenhouse Tavern). I’m always guaranteed a fun night and a good crowd.
  4. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Ever year since I was little, my family would go to the zoo. I never realized how great the Cleveland zoo was until I visited others—we have one of the best! My little tip: Go on a day that’s not a scorcher. Your nose will thank you.
  5. Tartine. This little wine bar/restaurant is one of my favorite romantic spots. I have very sweet memories there, and how can you not? The lighting is dim, the patio has cute little lights and flowers all over. Not many know about this place, but you can always count on wonderful house wine and food.

Ta-ta for now! Have a great week.

What are your top five spots in Cleveland? 

Wild Turkeys and My 10 Miler Check-In: Week 3

10 Mar

This past week was (technically) week three of my 10-miler training program. Here’s a brief summary of my workouts:

Monday: 1 hour yoga flow class

Wednesday: 3-mile run at the gym

Thursday: 1 hour yoga flow class

Saturday: Ran 4 miles

As you can see, I don’t follow the training program exactly and never have. I mainly use Hal Higdon to structure my weekend mileage. First of all, I don’t have the time or interest in working out six times a week. I also like to mix up my workouts and find I run better when I do a mix of strength training with my cardio. So, I do what feels good for me and try my hardest to follow the weekend run pattern.

This week’s lessons:

Sports bras are a must. Not that I didn’t know this already, but when I rushed to yoga after work and realized I hadn’t packed a sports bra, I almost didn’t go. But, knowing my training schedule and wanting to get four workouts in that week, I pressed on. Let’s just say, it was 60 minutes of being uncomfortable. Which is not exactly the state you should be in when trying to find your balance and look out your third eye. I’m packing a couple extra ones in my gym bag so I never forget again.

Wild turkeys exist … in Cleveland. Yes, I’ve seen wild turkeys before. In my grandparents’ backyard on the PA countryside. But on my Saturday 4-miler, my friend and I got chased down by a 4’ wild turkey. We didn’t even realize it until a friendly man driving a Lowe’s truck (I’ll call him our guardian angel) stopped his truck in the middle of the street to flag us down and help us.

I thought Thanksgiving was long gone?  Source: Wikipedia

I thought Thanksgiving was long gone?
Source: Wikipedia

Man, that thing could run. And homie was not looking happy. Supposedly it’s soon to be mating season so they’re extra territorial? I’m just happy we made it out safe without being molested by a turkey. This article says you can “shoo” them away aggressively or spray them with a hose. Good to know for next time.

These energy balls are the best thing ever. I found these on Pinterest and have been making them and eating them as a protein-packed dessert or post-run snack for a couple weeks now. They basically taste like chocolate chip banana bread? And I bet you have all the ingredients in your cabinet right now. I add a scoop of Perfect Fit Protein for an extra punch. Yum!

It was an eventful week, so let’s hope this one is a bit more … subdued. Cheers!

Anchored in CLE

One girl's adventures in Northeast Ohio.

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